What’s Your Legacy?

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2011 at 9:42 am

“I don’t know how to explain it, but I am blessed.” This came from my very precocious younger cousin when I asked how he was doing. Immediately my response was, “Wow, that was truly a mature look on life.” He has been through a little adversity as well as his family. He understands what struggle means, albeit a little early for my liking. But as another precocious friend of mine reminded me “that’s life.” And that is life indeed. While I was away on a business trip to my home county, Benton County, MS made news for having the highest STI (sexually transmitted infections) rates than any other county in the nation. Then a few days later, the Mississippi Department of Health released a statement saying the statistics were incorrectly reported. Memphis ABC 24 combined the statistics of Marshall and Benton Counties, “creating a false increase in Chlamydia cases and rates in Benton County. A coding mistake led to the
inaccurate submission of data to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and was included in this year’s County Health Rankings Report for 2008 released last week by the RWJF [Robert Wood Johnson Foundation]. The MSDH has been working with the CDC to correct the report for 2008.”

While the statistics may have been inaccurate, the problem remains access to health care, lack of education, and poverty. The STI, obesity, high school dropout, and unemployment rates still hover over the small County like a dark cloud. And this life is the life I don’t want my precocious cousin to grow up in; this life is not the life I want my home to experience; this life is not the life I want anyone to have to realize. And I challenge myself and you to get up, speak up and out, and move to educate, make a difference, even if that may be one person then that one person’s life has been changed for the better—thus changing the course of life for that individual and future generations. And so, there’s joy, there’s a legacy to be set. Just as these statistics garnered national attention and have left a legacy (and a stigma) that will be difficult for the County to walk away from, then too can a positive benefit or legacy be made. And it starts with me, it starts with you, this affects us all. While this may be a Benton County problem, while this may be a Northeast Mississippi problem, while this may be a Mississippi problem, this is a national/global issue. And the fight to save the generations behind us is on. I have no choice but to sign up to reverse these trends, and I hope you will do the same.

  1. WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..extra wait .. …

  2. Can I simply say what a aid to find somebody who really is aware of what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know easy methods to convey an issue to mild and make it important. More people have to read this and understand this aspect of the story. I cant imagine youre not more well-liked since you definitely have the gift.

  3. Good job.At least the report brings awareness to the problem that would have otherwise been kept silent. With more awareness let’s hope that education on the matter will become a priority so to help eliminate this problem.

  4. Kesha,

    Excellent piece re Benton County.

    Make sure your local papers hear about it.

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