Stop and enjoy what we have

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Column by Ben Sheroan

By Ben Sheroan

Ask someone what LaRue County needs and you'll get an immediate response.

It seems every resident has an idea. Sometimes its an inspirational vision of the future; other times just a longing. But it's always right on the tip of the tongue.

As a long-time area resident but a newcomer to LaRue County, I had thoughts of my own. But I've actively been trying to tap into the collective desires of the community. Recently as a member of the latest Leadership LaRue County class, I participated in a brainstorming session that asked just the same question.

Here's a few of the topics I've heard here and there.

We want activities and facilities for our kids. That can range from more soccer fields and general recreation space like a playground to commercial ideas like a bowling alley or movie theater.

We want more good well-paying jobs to keep offer opportunities for a brighter future. The ideas focus on other good neighbor businesses to come alongside Nationwide, Clayton Homes and other current corporate citizens.

The job ideas also focus on capitalizing on tourism by attracting a nice, chain hotel. It also addresses retail options that would make shopping elsewhere forever unnecessary. We want more places to eat out. The hunger list usually starts with Taco Bell and Arby's and moves up from there.

We want better connector roads. Sure the Lincoln Parkway is great but what about knocking a couple curves out of Kentucky 84 or building a straight shot to Glendale for an alternative route to Interstate 65 or immediate access if the state's major industrial site there is ever developed.

You see we know what we want. But sometimes we don't know what we have.

In the midst of these discussions that might be defined as progress, I like to ask a second question.

What do you like about Hodgenville and LaRue County today? It usually brings up thoughts of values, security, a more relaxed pace, hometown friendliness and locally owned businesses.

Some of those qualities are known to get lost in the race for progress.

I'm not discouraging progress. I'm encouraging contentment.

Now remember, contentment and complacency are not the same thing. Although often confused, they are quite different.

Contentment allows me to appreciate what I have and enjoy it without being resistant to change or improvements.

Sometimes as residents focused only on what we don't have, we lose sight of what we have. We forget to express thanks to local businesses for supplying employment or shopping and dining opportunities. We look over the fence and admire other cities and towns while forgetting the grass is quite green right where we are. (Assuming, of course, it ever rains again and breaks this drought.)

A final thought for the day: Many Kentucky communities are envious of Hodgenville and LaRue County and would long to have all that we enjoy and sometimes take for granted.

Ben Sheroan is general manager of the LaRue County Herald News.