The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.


                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.







The Year 2006: Let us sow light

by JC Bowman

President Franklin Roosevelt said on December 24, 1944, during a national wartime address: "Here at home, we will celebrate this Christmas Day in our traditional American way-because of its deep spiritual meaning to us; because the teachings of Christ are fundamental in our lives; and because we want our youngest generation to grow up knowing the significance of this tradition and the story of the coming of the immortal Prince of Peace and Good Will."

May the spirit of the season reflected by President Roosevelt's speech fill you with love, joy and peace throughout the upcoming New Year.  Can you believe 2006 is already here?  I am not usually big on New Years resolutions or predictions, but I believe I can confidently predict that virtually all the predictions people make here will be miles away from the reality.  But ring the bells, blow up some fireworks and kiss that special person! Welcome in another year. 

The ending of one year, and the beginning of another year is an appropriate time for memories and reflection.  Revisiting them is like looking through an old photo album. The New Year reminds us of feelings and images, many of them sad but all of them nostalgic. Our mind can take us to another time and another place. The change brought on by the New Year can also brings us hope.  We have learned that we cannot stop time's inevitable flow, nor can we erase those reminiscences, recollections and memories that remain etched in the far corners of our mind.

In 2005 America, unfortunately has had to deal with the human reality of war.  Ordinary men and women leaving homes and families and all they know to risk their lives for an ideal of honor, or duty, or just to protect the soldier next to them.  They are heroes.  They are champions of timeless ideas and principals.  Their service deserves our respect.  People of patriotism and goodwill may debate the merits of any given war, police action, or humanitarian mission. There should be no debate about the debt we owe to our fellow citizens who have given the ultimate sacrifice of their lives in America's call to service.

My heart goes out to all the souls affected by the recent tragedies around the world. In the spirit of giving this holiday season, please consider making a donation to those who need it most.  Parents have grieved for lost children,

J C Bowman

-J. C. Bowman, a native of Cleveland, is a well informed and outspoken conservative educator. Is a freelance public policy analyst who resides in Tallahassee, Florida. Prior to this, he was Director for the Center for Education Innovation at Florida State University.  He served as the Director for the Florida Department of Education Choice Office and as the Chief Policy Analyst of the Education Policy Unit for Florida Governor Jeb Bush.



siblings for lost brothers and sisters, and wives for lost spouses.  Children have grieved for parents who are no longer among them, missing them as a piece of them has passed away too. There is a time of grief and a time to put grief aside.   

The distinctiveness that forms the character of the identity of our country is realized in our spirit.  As Americans, we were the ones who dared to defy an empire and challenge a continent and conquer space.  That spirit still beats in the heart of every one of us.  We dare to be a country that lives our dreams. I want my daughters to have an America that still loves its heroes, where character still matters and our leaders inspire and comfort us with the courage of their vision. There is nothing sadder than to look into the eyes of a child without dreams and see nothing but the empty stare of lost hope. That is not my America, is it yours?

There are two things I do not do often enough. One is saying thank you to those who have done so much for me: family, friends and those who read the opinions of a country boy who simply wants to leave the world a better place than he found.  The other is to do more things for those who need our help. This year we should remember the voices and anguish of the less fortunate who are hungry or do not have a bed to sleep in.  We should demonstrate compassion for those who are in need by reaching out to others.  I will try to do better.  I invite you to join me.

I am reminded of a toast I heard at a wedding, which a groom made to his bride: "Never above you. Never below you.  Always beside you.  We all need to walk together, and we need to walk with God."  Each generation, by its actions must open the door for the next. It is imperative that we leave behind a legacy of hope and opportunity. We begin by examining our own family relationships and our friendships in greater depth. I think most of us have had some healing to do at one time or another. We carry scars visible and invisible.  Do not let another day go by without doing your part to heal the hurt and erase the pain. 

If you were able to witness the funeral of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks you heard these words by Reverend J. Edwin Bacon, All Saints Church, Pasadena, California who said:  We remember that by her act of courage on a bus that afternoon 50 years ago, she injected new meaning and dignity into the veins of civilization. We remember this night that she sat down in order that others might stand up We remember this night that she refused to cooperate any longer with unjust laws. We remember this night that she said, "The only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

Then he prayed: "Make us tired of giving in, Lord, to a life of timidity and insensitivity that does not live for liberty and justice for all. Make us tired of giving in, Lord, to leadership that does not ask us to sacrifice so that the human race can become the human family. For in living for others and in prayerful awareness of our dependence upon You and of our interdependence on one another will we truly be blessed."

Davey Gerhard, a member of Holy Innocents' in San Francisco, California added this:  "Immortal God, all around us there is death. We are killing ourselves with addictions to escape the reality of the world about us. On our streets there is death of body, and death of spirit. We are killing and being killed by bombs and bullets. There are empty places at our tables, our families are torn apart. We pray for those who have died, and those who are wounded. Lord make us instruments of your Peace, Where there is darkness, let us sow light."

If we want our youngest generation to grow up knowing the significance of this tradition then in 2006 do not forget the story of the coming of the immortal Prince of Peace and Good Will and live it everyday. Do not be afraid to be someone who sows light in this year or the next or any of the other years to follow.

--J. C. Bowman is a public policy analyst who resides in Tallahassee, Florida.
He can be reached by email at:

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