Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Jackie Stammen

1/2/2014 (1 year 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 (1 year 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:-)




 

 


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Blog

An Encounter With Jesus Through The Hand Of A Child

Image of We are brothers and sisters in Christ and we can't be whole until we are all whole together.

By Jackie Stammen

Surprises. Our God is full of surprises. A mentor in my life once told me to expect surprises in life, you are sure to have them. Good or bad, you will experience surprises. NASHVILLE, TN - Three weeks prior to the end of 2014 (good riddance, you crazy year, I am so ... continue reading


Synod on the Family: Perception v. Reality

Image of Pope Francis understands the critical importance of the traditional nuclear family in God's plan for human society in general and for the Church in particular.

By by Justin Soutar (Richmond, VA)

The secular news media has irresponsibly embedded in the public mind its own grossly inaccurate portrayal of the 2014/2015 Synod on the Family, raising vain expectations among the Church's enemies (including dissenters) of doctrinal and disciplinary changes that cannot ... continue reading


Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Image of One has to look a little deeper to find something other than physical beauty.

By Shelly A. Schneider

Have you ever really thought about that? I'm talking about the heading above. I suppose once you become a spouse and parent the whole "eye of the beholder" thing has some relevance. In my eyes, there is nothing more beautiful on this planet than my husband and our ... continue reading


An Urgent Prayer and Warning - Lest Thy Church Suffer Too Great A Darkness

Image of O Come Let Us Adore Him While We Can!

By Michael Seagriff

Those who have visited here, read my book, I Thirst For Your Love, or frequent Harvesting The Fruits of Contemplation, know how much I value and promote the work of Father Mark and his community, The Benedictine Monks of Perpetual Adoration. Father Mark ... continue reading


Think the grass is always greener? Maybe not.

Image of Kids grow up so fast...we need to enjoy every moment of time.

By Shelly A. Schneider

Are you a 'grass is always greener' person? I was, too, until a seemingly normal Thursday afternoon many, many years ago. Read on. LOS ANGELES, CA - I used to watch moms with teenagers and feel pangs of jealousy.'I can't wait until my kids are old enough to do things ... continue reading


Tribute to an American Catholic Hero

Image of  The 3-cent Iwo Jima stamp was issued July 11, 1945

By Justin Soutar

John Henry Bradley (1923--1994), one of the six Iwo Jima flag-raisers in World War II, may have never considered himself an American Catholic hero, but that's exactly what he was. Whether tending wounded Marines under heavy gunfire in the battlefield or comforting ... continue reading


God said...and I listened

Image of Our daughter, Sam. Most days I feel blessed that she is so similar to me.

By Shelly A. Schneider

I received an e-mail from my friend, and newspaper photographer, Ray Rockwell this morning. It was titled, 'God said 'No.' I'd seen it before, but I decided I might need to read it again. Here's a small part of the text: LOS ANGELES, CA - I asked God to grant me ... continue reading


Our Lost Cathedral Hagia Sophia

Image of Beautiful mosaics in the Hagia Sofia Museum

By Michael Clark

On May 29, 1453, the Christian world lost its first great cathedral, the Hagia Sophia, as Muslim invaders sacked the city of Constantinople finally ending the Roman Empire. The massive church was not spared from the looters, as its treasures and art were either hacked ... continue reading


On Demonic Activity and the Charlie Charlie Challenge

Image of  Such practices like this are against Christian discipleship

By Deacon Ian VanHeusen

As you may have heard, there is a current buzz on the internet around a game in which participants evoke a demon in order to answer questions. The game is called the Charlie Charlie Challenge and it is spreading under the hashtag #charliecharliechallenge. To begin ... continue reading


Chill Out, Martha!

Image of Jesus led Martha to stop the constant busy work and just be with Him.

By Jackie Stammen

I have an image of you in the story of Jesus with Mary, and Martha. You are Martha busy at work in the kitchen. Jesus comes over to you, gently takes your hand, and leads you out of the kitchen and into the gathering room and asks you to sit at his feet and just be ... 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, Genesis 19:15-29
15 When dawn broke the angels urged Lot on, 'To your ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 26:2-3, 9-10, 11-12
2 Probe me, Yahweh, examine me, Test my heart and my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 8:23-27
23 Then he got into the boat followed by his ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 30th, 2015 Image

First Martyrs of the See of Rome
June 30: The holy men and women are also called the ďProtomartyrs of ... 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