Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Town With Diverse Cultures

I was just thinking today about the difference in towns in this county. When I drive through Poth, Stockdale, Lavernia, Sutherland Springs or Floresville I get a different feeling in each town. It is something I can't really place. Each town is so different. There are good things and bad things about each one, just like any city or town in the USA. I think a town reflects the people that live there. The buildings might be different, but when you drive around town, you can tell if the town is dying or growing or just sitting there. If the homes in the towns are well kept, the yards are neat, with flowering trees and bushes everywhere, even if they are small that gives you a good feeling.
But if you see trash piled up in the driveways and junk cars, and garbage stacked in the front and the back yards, and grass needing mowed, no flower beds, it is a sad looking town. It reflects the people who live there. It is depressing.
If I see businesses that are neat, and some with even a flowerpot in front, it makes me want to go in. It is something that draws me there.
What I see is Lavernia is growing, it is a busy little town, and so is Floresville, with more new businesses opening up. Stockdale, Sutherland Springs, and Poth are growing slowly but with more people not businesses. Poth and Stockdale's schools are what are keeping them on the map. Both have great schools, and the schools are the focal point of the towns, especially the sports programs. The people in the town always support the schools. It makes them a closely-knit town. It reminds me of the Kasper community in Southwest Wilson County back in the 30's and 40's. That community had no church, community center, grocery story, filling station or post office, but we had Kasper School. That was the place where things "happened". It it was the focal point of the community. Dances, school programs, parties, elections, all were held there. When the school closed, the community was lost. It was no more!
So, I guess my point is when a new business opens up everyone in the town must support the business. Encourage them; make suggestions if they see things aren't going good. Pray for them. A good chamber of commerce really helps a town. But any organization is only as good as it's people and how dedicated they are.
I was thinking about the different cultures we have in Texas. There are the Hispanic, the African-American, and the Anglo, which include German and Polish. All have different cultures. Study those cultures, and you will see such a difference. What is culture? Websters says: the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group; also: the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life}.
I am learning a lot about different cultures. That's because I have several different nationalities in my own family: Anglo, Hispanic, and African-American. It is pretty interesting! And funny, too! We were integrated before there was integration!
By studying and actually living with those differences, I have seen that our beliefs, social forms, material traits are all different. But we must all live together amiably and lovingly in one household, and one family, and in our one town even though we are all of different race, religion, or social group.
We are such a diverse county. We can integrate our talents and gifts and business expertise together and use them to encourage one another, our businesses, our neighbors, our city governments our schools and churches. There should be no prejudice.
When people drive through our towns in Wilson County, do they say, "Oh, this is such a pretty town?”
I wonder if they say, “The houses are so well kept and pretty, and the businesses look interesting, and exciting and busy. And I don't see any junkyards or trash anywhere. There are so many pretty trees and flowers. And look how friendly the people are. They wave at you as you drive past! I would love to live here!"

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