Tennison: Find good, do good

Published 12:41 am Saturday, May 23, 2015

At the Chamber of Commerce luncheon Wednesday, Center for Pregnancy Choices Director Stacy Tennison issued a challenge: find good and do good.

“By looking for good and doing good, we can make incredible steps toward revitalizing our great community,” she said. “Working together, we will make Vicksburg a place of beauty and pride.”

First she offered a quote from Jesse Owens: “Find the good. It’s all around you. Find it, showcase it and you’ll start believing in it.”

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She said by finding good in Vicksburg, its people would assign a positive identity to the city, something they could believe in.

“I’ve seen the beginnings of this identity change happening already here in Vicksburg,” she said.

“Almost every time I have a conversation with our school superintendent, Chad Shealy, he talks about the greatness of Vicksburg, the greatness of our schools, and the amazing people and opportunities here. The same is true of Mayor Flaggs, the Aldermen, and their staff. In the few conversations I’ve had with them, they have clearly revealed their excitement about our city. I’ve noticed a favorable change in The Vicksburg Post with more positive articles actively highlighting the good in our community.”

Tennison said instead of raining on our own parade, she would encourage everyone to be honest about our reality and the challenges that exist but choose to celebrate the good and be optimistic about our future.

As Tennison moved to the “do good” portion of her speech, she introduced it with another quote, this time from Desmond Tutu: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Tennison encouraged business owners and community members to do their little bit of good where they can, which will lead to them knowing what good needs to be done.

“Oftentimes, as professionals with high-ranking positions, business owners/CEOs, and multi-company leaders, we tend to make decisions at 37,000 feet, not recognizing what those on the front lines truly need,” she said.

Tennison encouraged business leaders to get to know the people on the front lines.

“Build those relationships that are vital to positive change,” she said. “Ask to meet with the ones who are in the non-profits, the schools, the churches, the city programs. Ask them about their programs, the realities they face, their fears, their dreams and visions. As you talk with them, think of ways to help.”

Tennison reminded the Chamber of Commerce of when mighty Vicksburg fell during the Civil War due to a lack of resources and compared it to Vicksburg today.

“Vicksburg will fall if our front-liners lack resources and provisions,” she said. “Today, we don’t need a new initiative to see change in our city. We have everything we need right here to solve our own challenges. Vicksburg has the resources. It has the front-line soldiers already in the fight. Get behind those on the front lines. Reinforce the soldiers. Keep up supplies. Start right where you are by using what you have to do what you can.”

Tennison ended her speech by reminding everyone Vicksburg is a beautiful place with beautiful people, rich history, diverse culture, leadership and talent.

“Working together, we will make Vicksburg a place of beauty and pride,” she said. “By looking for good and doing good, we can make incredible steps toward revitalizing our great community.”