January 4, 2010
When a new year gets underway it seems wise to take stock and share visions for the future. As we look around and see that the world appears to be in turmoil, and the country remains divided, it can be helpful to articulate a unifying vision for children in Santa Barbara County that will help direct our efforts locally and make sure our priorities remain in sharp focus.
We cannot know what 2010 will hold for any of us. But I believe we can once again agree on a vision that embraces all of the county’s young people.
In this vision, we continue to see children growing up in good health, with a zest for learning and living. We see them with a spark inside that makes them want to share their talents with those less fortunate, and work for the good of the order, just because it's the right thing to do.
We see children who are free of fear, free of abuse, free of drugs, free of prejudice.
We see children who are free to reach beyond their circumstances, whatever those might be, and to join a society that welcomes their contributions on the job, in the community, and in the voting booth.
And we see a community willing to work together to bring all our children closer to that dream.
It’s a vision that can become reality. If we all work together, and resist the urge to point the fingers of blame, we could form a circle of responsibility around all our children.
We could make sure that our efforts are focused on improving the conditions of children in our communities. We also need to acknowledge that working to benefit and nurture our young people is enlightened self-interest. We want what is best for our own children, but we must care about other people’s children as well — after all, it is other people’s children who will staff the emergency rooms, fly the planes, and eventually pass the laws that govern all of us.
A joint effort for today’s children could make a real difference in everyone’s future, because there is always real strength in partnership. That is my vision for all of us this year. I hope you will all join me as we continue our work to make it a reality.