My Town

I grew up in a small town. As a child things were usually pretty simple. Know the rules of the house. Be home before dark. Let Mom know where you are going.

Neighbors kept an eye on the kids in the neighborhood. Day to day it was the self centered fun kid thing with my pals. Games, bikes, etc.. learning the social skills of personal interaction at the most fundamental level.

I learned through trial and error my place in my simple little life. I had my home rules defined by Mom and Dad. I had kids rules defined by my childhood peers. The Church was at the core of many of my guidelines for interaction and an understanding of right from wrong, backed the watchful eye of my parents.

There was a local flavor of tradition, norms, and simplcity in a small southern town. I have fond memories of those times and where I lived.

I now live in Chattanooga. I like to tell people it is a wonderful mix of small town and urban in a beautiful setting. We have numerous churches which suits me as I am a Christian. All in all I like to say I would check all the boxes for the things I would want in a place to live. In many ways it reminds me of the small southern town where I grew up.

There is a sense of pride in family traditions, and our southern heritage. It is a welcoming environment for those new to town and  those that call it home. We carve out our lives, and work, and raise our family.  It is our comfort zone. Everything just seems to fit.

As always our lives are about change. One generation to the next. We all have to adjust to the next generation. New ideas. New innovations. It is how its always been. Or is it?

Is it possible for these normal changes to be too much? Is it possible that maybe we say that its just normal change and we just have too adjust, but deep down something seems radically wrong?

Do we reach a point where we stop making excuses for changes we feel are not a fit in our community/society? Do we speak out and say "enough". Are we and our traditions and our norms being swept away by a tide of new ideas and norms that seem completely out of synch with our town. Our values. Our sense of what's acceptable.

When it comes to change I like to say don't fight change, learn to dance with it. To play my part of the dance to lead or follow when neccessary. Unfortunately I believe we have begun just to follow someone else's lead. We stumble and trip as newer and faster dances are introduced. Finally we stand to one side watching others dance.

There are forces at play in our town that seek to shape our community, belittle our traditions, and radically change what is considered "normal". There is a struggle within our community, and our country to redefine who we are, what we believe in, and what the role of government should be in our lives.

As concerned citizens and parents it is our place to question the social and political currents that are threatening our normally solid footing in our town. It is time for the "adults in tbe room" to examine these changes. It is time to question, accept, or reject these currents that seek to "fundamentally" change our way of life.

Join us as we question these issues. Help us to preserve our town. Our unique flavor. Our wonderful mix of small town and urban setting. We can and should evaluate, accept, or reject these forces that we question. After all it is our town. Our community. Our country.

Hugh Orr, Hixson