When we seed love, we breed success. That is why we cannot define success by money and material things; rather, success is priced in the lives we’re able to help – the lives we’re able to inspire! I believe our next generation can steer this County to great things if we set the foundation to do so. As employees and/or residents of Tulare County, you continue to change minds, shape hearts and open doors for our future leaders.
Despite the challenges that try to hold us back: poverty, crime, and hardship on our streets; your efforts make way for broken chains and improved quality of lives for all. Because of this, I am reminded of Danny who quickly learned to adapt to his environment and used hatred to cope with the world he lived in.
For him it began at the age of 8, hate for the bullies that tripped him in the cafeteria, the school employees who never intervened, and his parents who led him to believe that domestic violence in his home was due to him. This hatred eventually led him to be incarcerated for 20 years of his life. He spoke of his desire as a child to belong and be socially accepted.
A desire many of our youth struggle with during their adolescent experience. He warned of the dangers of how joining a gang fulfilled the false sensation of belonging. His warning was to be proactive and to seek methods to engage our youth. Danny shared how he traded in his prison jump suit for his professional suit and tie. He explained how he no longer hated, but instead learned to love people.
It truly is the love for people that will uplift our county and country. And I admire John Legend’s words when he said, “The reason I'm here, the reason I've had such a wonderful journey so far, is that I've found love. Yes, love; opening your mind and your heart to love.”
Above all else, what I’ve learned when working with our next generation of Tulare County youth, is the fact that most of our youth are eager to receive this simple act of care. This is often absent in the home and in our community. Let us strive to develop this compassion across our region.
Teach young people that they are not only significant, but how to work well with others, and you will find them empowered to bring transformation far beyond their own lives and into their community. Adults who are willing to learn from and work with youth who have been taught these things will bring about change in the world.
This is Tulare County, and this is how legacies are created and sustained!