Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jackie Stammen

1/2/2014 (7 months ago)

Laughs and Love (laughsandlove.com)

I am very proud of the small town I am from.

Back in October I sat in a meeting eating lunch with a handful of peers working in the same industry as me. As we talked conversation shifted from business to high school reunions. Someone in the group was approaching their ten year high school reunion and said they'd soon be going back to their hometown for the event. I was a bit surprised at how the tone of the conversation shifted as talk progressed on this topic.

Friends and colleagues enjoying conversation.

Friends and colleagues enjoying conversation.

Highlights

By Jackie Stammen

Laughs and Love (laughsandlove.com)

1/2/2014 (7 months ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: family values, importance of faith, high school reunion, small towns, success


NASHVILLE, TN - The overwhelming theme of the chatter at the table regarding high school reunions was disdain toward their fellow classmates. It was as though everyone I was in company with for this lunch had all felt as though they were superior to their classmates. Why, you might ask? They all felt as though they were 'better' than their classmates still living in their hometown because they (by their own standards) had gone on to accomplish things and 'become someone' while everyone in their hometown was 'stuck' there spinning their wheels. Of course I was sitting at a table with peers in the entertainment industry so maybe I shouldn't have been so surprised to hear this parade of arrogance around me.

Success. How exactly do we define success as a culture?

Is success based on clout, title, income, power and fame? It sure seemed as though my peers surrounding me felt that way. It was gross if you ask me. It was unbecoming and prideful. But mostly it was sad. Life is so, so much more than those things.

I couldn't be more proud of the small town - and I mean 2,500 people small - I grew up in and of all the people that are still so-called, 'stuck' there. You know why? Those people aren't actually 'stuck' there. Those people are actually the people that make the world go round. Those are the people that are in the trenches raising families, caring for one another and making a difference in the lives of people around them by the small things. But the small things, in all reality are really the big things. All those people back in my small hometown teach and show one another on a daily basis what it means to give to others and not expect anything in return. All of those people back home teach and show me the kind of person I want to be. They show me it's not the things in life that are important, it's the people.

It is funny how some people think success makes them better than others.


My hometown is the kind of place where your next door neighbor will lend you eggs and milk when you're baking and realize you forgot to purchase some of the ingredients but the store is already closed. It's the kind of place where people gather around the dinner table in the evenings so they know what is going on in each other's lives. It's the kind of place where if your car slips off the icy road into the ditch, you'll have five random strangers (who actually end up not being strangers since everyone knows everyone) stop and help do whatever they can to pull you out. It's the kind of place where families spend time together - not because they have to, but because they want to. It's the kind of place where doing the right thing matters and people aren't afraid to hold you accountable to it.

No, I'm not blind. It's not all butterflies and rainbows. But that is because people are human no matter where you go. If you think you've found the perfect place, go join it and it won't be perfect anymore (as Matthew Kelly says). But, all in all, my small hometown in Ohio is amazing and it's all because of the values and morals that are important to the families there.

If you want to change the world you have to start with first things first. Begin in your very own home. Better yet, begin in your very own heart. If you change your heart, you can change the world. If every person in the world worked toward changing their heart, imagine how much less hate there would be in the world.

If you are one of those people who thinks they are better than everyone in their hometown because you 'got out' I venture to guess you might need to spend some time reflecting on your life and the places you've been and the people that propelled you to get there.

I'm happy to live in Nashville, TN now because for some reason it's where I've been guided to be at this point in my life. I've made a great life in Nashville and have met some really amazing people. But I am who I am and I've achieved the things I have been able to achieve in part, because of where I came from. I know how blessed I am to have grown up where I did surrounded by the people in St. Henry, OH.

This Christmas, I got to spend about a week in St. Henry and my heart is full. I love the people in this town. I love that families are important. I love that faith is important. I love that doing the right thing is important. I just love getting to spend time here with people I care about. It's the way of life, it's the culture here.

No matter where you are - big city or small town - focus on the things that really matter. Focus on the things that make a life and a home. The way the world measures success is toxic and temporary. You may receive short-term pleasure, but those things won't bring you long-term joy. Go for joy! Each one of us deserves love and joy. That is the true meaning of success.

Laughs and Love,
Jackie:-)




 

 



Comments


More Blog

Saturday's Chore List: Mock Pro-lifers and Tell Lies Watch

Image of Let us pray for the day when no woman wants to kill her own; the day when we all see human life for the gift that it is.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

Just as your boyfriend cruises closer to the clinic, you see a commotion that looks something like a circus. Then you realize it's all happening right in front of the place you need to be. There's some lady with bright orange and crayon red hair standing next to the ... continue reading


Winning the Fight By Giving Up My Will

Image of He calls us to witness to Truth and to pray for peace for the babies whose lives are lost as well as for mercy for their misguided parents.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

For the remainder of my afternoon, I ruminated on the morning's event, on that internal whisper to remain undisturbed, on Father's temporarily unnatural stature and on that prompting to trust that my meager offering was enough. Turning to God's Word, I searched ... continue reading


Recalling Life-Changing Moments

Image of A moment in time where you feel and notice that, 'Yes, this is what life is about!'

By Michael Seagriff

There are times when we should just stop, sit and silently recall some of the life-changing moments we have experienced in our lives but may have buried in the stone piles of our minds. CANASTOTA, NY - My writing group recently suggested that we resurrect and record ... continue reading


Should you be waiting in prayer? Watch

Image of Sometimes it's ok to wait. Should you be waiting in prayer?

By Jackie Stammen

Lately my life has been in a place of waiting. Waiting on God. Waiting to see Him connect the dots with the things He is doing in my life. Waiting on Him to take the the blender of emotions and happenings that have been my life this year so far and see what He intends ... continue reading


'What Happened to the Zeal for the Salvation of Souls'?

Image of St. Dominic's Feast Day is August 8th.

By Michael Seagriff

Tomorrow, August 8th is the feast day of St. Dominic, the founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans) prompts me to ask this simple question: 'What happened to the zeal for the salvation of souls'? CANASTOTA, NY - In 1946, Pope Pius XII warned us that 'The sin of ... continue reading


Learning to Make Time for the Holy Spirit

Image of We must set aside time every day to give permission to the Holy Spirit to work in us.

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

Prosperity can be dangerous. When things are going well and we are successful, we have a tendency to turn in on ourselves. We like to believe that our prosperity and success are the results of our brilliance and our unique abilities. Although our cooperation with the ... continue reading


Are You A Walking Jesus?

Image of How do you show your love for Jesus?

By Michael Seagriff

At the time I made temporary promises as a Lay Dominican I had to select a religious name. Throughout my preparation as a postulant and novice, I had been exposed to a host of Dominican Saints and Blesseds - all worthy of emulation and whose example and name would ... continue reading


Finding God Through Suffering

Image of By God's grace, no cross He sends will ever be too heavy.

By Michael Seagriff

Let me repeat some obvious truths. God is more powerful than any of us. He draws each of us to Himself. He wants to excite our hearts. He longs to fill our minds and souls with the Truth. He desires that we yield ourselves totally to His will. CANASTOTA, NY - We are ... continue reading


Why do We Tolerate Hollywood's Assault on the Sacrament of Marriage?

Image of Hollywood has cheapened marriage by representing it as a game.

By Michael Clark

How can we as a society defend marriage when we allow to be in the same class as a game show? Specifically I mean the companion TV shows The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. For all of the shows protestations of trying to find life long happiness and love for the people ... continue reading


Hope Didn't Die With The Baby!

Image of A boy! We counted his tiny fingers and toes and marveled.

By by Tara K. E. Brelinsky

My son's life, while brief, impacted the world. On this day nineteen years ago, he not only opened my womb, he stretched wide my heart. He taught me how to love, to abandon myself for the sake of another. His life unraveled my plans and caused me to loosen my ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 37:1-14
1 The hand of Yahweh was on me; he carried me away by ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 107:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 So let them say whom Yahweh redeemed, whom he ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 22:34-40
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Andrew the Scot
August 22: Archdeacon and companion of St. Donatus. Andrew and his sister, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter