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Book for little ones can have big meaning

Later this month – April 21 and 22 to be exact – Screven County will take center stage. And it may not be a question of how many are in the audience, but rather how many lives can be directly affected by the attending spectators.
It may be a half dozen or two dozen individuals by the time the first-ever event actually commences, but I can assure you the potential is substantial, massive, considerable or in a more subsequent word “big.”
In two weeks, guests will be in our county to explore Screven’s business possibilities. Total support -- from local boards to local citizens -- is vital for this venture to be successful.
My youngest child a few months ago selected a book through the Reading Is Fundamental program that is simple in nature, but packs a powerful punch beyond the age group of 5-year-olds.
“How Have I Grown?” was written by Mary Reid in 1995 before a majority of the students in our local school system were born.
The book’s words, if you take a moment to reflect on them, can be redirected away from the beginning stages of a child’s life toward the beginning stages of a community in search of an economic rebirth.
Reid utilizes short, simple sentences to make her point through the life of a little girl. We, as adults, at times need short, simple sentences for us to comprehend the relevancy.
Sylvania, Ga., was founded in 1790. Like all cities, Sylvania has seen its share of missed opportunities.
But now, we as community, cannot allow any potential businesses “slip away” without a fight.
Those cities who keep reminding economic leaders that “we are here and we are ready” are the ones who will survive.
The ones who do nothing as if they were a sloth living on the limbs of a tree will dry up.
So let our economic rebirth begin.
Reid’s book reads “I used to be a baby. I slept a lot. I cried for my food.”
However, a transformation began.
“I crawled and climbed. Then I learned to walk.”
Are we ready to walk?
“But I was still little. I wore diapers. I took two naps.”
Growing up does not and will not happen overnight, but if the effort is made good things can happen.
“Then one day my Nana said, ‘My, how you’ve grown!’ Then I was a little kid.
“I could dress myself. I had my own cubby.”
Growth allows you to establish an identity -- a positive identity.
Then ...
“My daddy said, ‘My, how you’ve grown.’
“Now I’m a big kid!
“I’m in kindergarten! I am taller. My feet are bigger. My old jacket is too small. I can build with blocks.”
To grow, you must have the mindset that growth is important. Your local leaders also must be of the same mindset and willing to push forward.
We are not sloths with mold growing on them, but we are not cheetahs either. We do not possess the powerful speed of the big cities, but that does not mean we should not think big.
For 220 years, Sylvania has produced excellent men and women who have made sociological impacts. Now is the time we all unify our people to form an excellent local economic climate so we can say in unison “My, how I’ve grown!”

Enoch Autry is the publisher-editor of the Sylvania Telephone.