Having recently moved to Harlan, it has been fun to just observe my new home. I will take the opportunity now to apologize if you noticed a guy creeping you out because you felt like he was “watching” you. My nature is to observe people. I have observed people in China, Korea, Canada, Kentucky, Nebraska, and Iowa. What I will share with you is people here in Harlan are no different than people everywhere. People are people everywhere…irregardless of age, geography, economic status, gender and politics. In other words, there are core commonalities to being human regardless of where you were raised, who you were raised by, and in what decade you were raised. Some would argue that technology changes humanity to which I would argue, technology changes how humanity functions but does not change humanity at the core.
I have seen parents in Harlan laugh with their kids just as heartily as I have seen parents and grandparents enjoy their children in China. I have seen indescribable suffering over the loss of a loved one here in Harlan..just as i have seen in all corners of the world. There are good people everywhere and there are people with bad intentions everywhere too. One observation, strong families promote a healthy society. Where you have strong families crime rates are lower, education is valued, work is valued, and generally there is greater respect, greater satisfaction for life, more harmony, and more peace.
At the center of a strong family is a strong marriage. Strong marriages are based on the abilities of each individual in that relationship to distance themselves from their selfish desires and intentionally pursue the interests of their spouse/family. The only power I know that can stand up to the power of self is the power of Christ. It is for this reason that Christ has to be at the center of a marriage. Play the logic out…when Christ is not at the center, marriages will struggle, selfish desires will rule, open up the gate for the decline of family and community. When politicians misdirect and mislead, when more and more kids are disrespectful to parents and teachers, when there is an increase in crime and so on there is a reason for it. I am just not sure many are making the connection.
Here is my point. My observation is that Harlan is not much different that the rest of the world…The truth about the strength of our society is dependent upon the home and whether or not Christ is at its center.