by Patricia Feager, 9/4/18
"The Greatness of a community is most accurately measured
by the compassionate actions of its members."
--- Coretta Scott King
I have always been able to identify with Coretta Scott King, Dr. Martin Luther King, and minorities, such as the Puerto Rican community where I grew up. Chicago is where I gained my strength and courage during tumultuous times. Before and after our nation was under siege because of the Civil Rights rioting going on in my community it was just a neighborhood with other kids who had ambitions around my own age. Everyone struggles with adversity. Kids are not exempt. Most of us survive. When there is love inside a community, there is hope. Support is just a hug or handshake away.
WHAT'S THE POINT?
The point is, the heart of our communities aren't just about money, jobs, the economy, houses, schools, transportation, clothes, shopping, medical facilities, etc. It is about the children, especially the ones who do self-less acts and change something tragic, horrific, and negative into something positive and educational. One person can spear-head a cause based upon loss, because of hope, ideas, determination, implementation, and action. Despite the negative things going on in this world, we can never take kids for granted, or think of them as just kids. It is a privilege to live in a community where there are children. Paying property taxes to support our community schools for our children is an honor and a privilege.
TWO MOTHERS (ages 41 and 25); TWO DAUGHTERS (ages 12 and 4)
If one kid can bounce back after a tragic loss of two mothers and two daughters, one being a best friend can start a campaign for the benefit of everyone, then anyone can have the life-saving power to commit to making a difference. Regardless of demographics or income, every single individual can learn to be a better person, doing something good and make positive change for the greater good.
Janae Cook of Argyle, TX, a neighboring community to Flower Mound is on a mission to save lives encouraging people not to text and drive. On the day before April 9, 2016, 12 year old Janae hugged her best friend and said, "I love you". Her friend Tita hugged back, saying same. The next day, Tita and her mother were in a car driving home when they were involved in a head-on collision. The other driver was also a mother and had a daughter. That day, two young mothers and two daughters, one to each driver were killed all because of text by the younger mother.
A friend in the community encouraged Janae to compete in the Royal International Miss pagaent in Orlando, FL, which promotes platforms and community service. Janae's goal was to bring awareness to others about the dangers of texting while driving. She won the competition and holds the title "Royal International Role Model Jr. teen." Janae makes key chains to raise money. Her campaign, "Text Free for Tita, is spreading the word to others locally and internationally about the dangers of texting while driving.
THE DOMINO EFFECT
Subsequently, the State of Texas Law, made texting illegal to text and drive in Texas which went into effect in September, 2017. Every child, mother, father, and friend deserves to live and together, we can make an impact within our communities and beyond. For Janae Cook's sake, "Text Free for Tita." Community is about humanity, not just about houses.