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Why can't we have a civic center, too?

By By Buddy Bynum
Dec. 23, 2001
I write today under the residual influence of holiday shopping, of which I have done far too little. I am on the verge of taking some advice a friend offered that if you put off Christmas shopping long enough the need will simply go away for a year.
But let's face it, we consumers can't resist all the sales and nice merchandise offered by wonderful stores that want us to trade dollars for things. Our president said our spending makes the economy stronger, and I believe him.
I also know when many of these gifts are opened on Christmas morning (Christmas Eve, by tradition in some homes) you are tempted to look around and see what everybody else got. You shouldn't, of course, because gift envy does not convey the appropriate spirit of this major holiday season.
This is the season for generosity, charitable goodwill, concern and care for others. It is a time for the haves to share with the have-nots, a time for the greaters among us to pull the lessers up, at least temporarily.
Now, don't mistake this for Christmas cynicism. I am very proud of the contributions I and my fellow employees here at The Star have made to feeding families which do not have the means to prepare a Christmas meal for themselves. Our tradition here is to adopt a family in our community instead of spending money on each other. I like it and am a willing giver. I toss in coins at Salvation Army kettles and I applaud everyone who takes up a charitable cause, feeds the hungry, shelters the abused, cares for the needy and still tends to the demands of their own families.
A wondrous concern for the welfare of human beings is alive and well in our community. I truly believe that we do care for each other and are willing to show it in the most magical and mysterious ways. And not just at Christmas.
But up the road a bit, a long bit, lives my friend and fellow newspaperman Tom Pittman. He lives in one of Mississippi's fastest-growing communities DeSoto County.
His county has exploded in the past decade or so as folks rush to and from Memphis to and from the less hectic residential environs of towns like Southaven, Hernando and Olive Branch. Huge distribution companies choose his county because of its proximity to the Memphis International Airport, where FedEx can get your package anywhere in the world in less time than it takes the post office to deliver a letter across town.
Tom wrote a column for his newspaper, DeSoto Times Today, that I think has some meaning for folks in this part of the state. I offer it here without further comment, except to say "Happy holidays":
Developments highlight
potential of DeSoto County
Buddy Bynum is editor of The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3213, or e-mail him at bbynum@themeridianstar.com.

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