The youth have spoken, now it’s time to take actionPublished 3:47pm Thursday, June 20, 2013
My parents have been married 60 years this June.
About five years ago on one of my visits home, I decided to take over breakfast preparations to give my mom a break from her normal nurturing routine. So I set the table, complete with putting my dad’s “must have” banana next to his cereal bowl. Mom told us to go ahead and she would be there shortly.
After blessing the meal, dad peeled the banana and began eating it. By the third bite, Mom walked in and stopped short of sitting down and said to me, “I always slice daddy’s banana on his cereal for him.” I replied with raised eyebrows, “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize.” At this point, my dad chimes in, “Actually, I prefer to eat it whole.” Then came “the look” from my mom, what my family refers to as “the blue-eyed flash.”
This look emphasizes the fact that you have just stepped in it with Lois Nancy Wilson. Her eyes narrowed as she stared at my dad and said, “I have been cutting your banana on your cereal for more years than I can remember and not once did you ever tell me you prefer to eat it whole.” To which my dad, still looking directly in her eyes, deadpanned, “Well, you never asked.”
As both heads swiveled towards me to get support for their side, I, who could totally see both points as being valid, opted to just burst out laughing at one of the funniest exchanges I’d ever witnessed in my life. So, not only did I gain an amusing family anecdote but a truly valuable lesson in communication – 1. Sometimes you have to state what you want, and 2. Sometimes you have to ask someone what they want.
This leads me to my point. The youth of Cassopolis are our greatest resource and are full of ideas and enthusiasm to make positive change in our community. When meeting with them at Ross Beatty Jr.-Sr. High School this past spring, as well as them reaching out to the Chamber of Commerce and Cass Can, they stated they want to be informed and asked. They want to help, to contribute, to give and to “be part” of the progress that is turning can’ts into cans and dreams into plans.
Every student must complete 30 hours of community service to graduate but up until this point, the community perhaps unaware of this or lack of communication did not let the school or students know what needs could be fulfilled with this service. The students expressed interest in job shadowing and working with area businesses.
They also would like access to more activities in our community, including: a youth recreational center, a skate park, a venue for dance, music (singing), art and garden projects, swimming beach or pool, an AAU team for basketball, park improvements, community picnic potlucks, movies and many other wonderful ideas.
I wish to say thank you to all the kids who so clearly have voiced what they want and need and as an adult, member of the planning commission, soon to be downtown business owner and resident of the village, I will do my best to see that we, together with you, accomplish as many of these projects as possible.
Cass Can. Now that we have had the talk, let’s walk the walk. Like Cass Can on Facebook.
CeeCee Wilson is a Cass Can organizer and CEO of Last Tagine in Paris LLC.