Sometimes we have the opportunity to gain a new perspective on our priorities. Such an opportunity came into my life as I joined a team from Oakland Baptist Church for a two-week mission journey to India.
We went over there to help a group of Indian Christians extend the gospel message of salvation into the Hindu community. We taught and preached and shared and sang. Believers increased in number. Lives were permanently changed. We accomplished our stated goal.
What I didn’t count on was the permanent change that mission trip would bring to my own life and perspective.
When you live shoulder-to-shoulder with people who have so little, yet are open-hearted, generous and kind, it brings into focus the magnificent material blessings we all enjoy.
I came back from India with a changed perspective and several resolutions. I vowed to be grateful every single day for the blessings of living in a free country, having a roof over my head and enough food on the table, enjoying the fruits of a good education, seeing a church on every corner and being able to worship Jesus freely. I would appreciate even more the American respect for women and the unlimited opportunities available to my little girl. I would be grateful for the safety and health of my family. I resolved to appreciate the American idea of a clean environment. And, I promised to be an example of openhearted generosity and kindness.
I also recommitted to being a reasonable, evenhanded advocate for District 2 at our State Capitol. There is simply no reason that mature representatives of Mississippians cannot sit down and calmly come to levelheaded decisions to benefit our citizens. Like our national constitution, our state’s constitution is structured so that the policy-making Legislature must reason together in order to make decisions. There is sound theory behind that concept – thoughtful lawmaking brings about the best results.
Heavy-handed, dogmatic behavior should not be the rule of the day in any deliberative body, especially the Mississippi House of Representatives. The people of Mississippi and the United States are entitled to more than elected officials who refuse to communicate. My fervent prayer is that all of us in the Legislature will show up in January ready to work together. I know I will.
Tradition has it that the third year of a legislative term usually sees good progress on important issues. Tuesday, January 7, 2014, will begin the third session of this term. I am looking forward to a more cooperative atmosphere resulting in important measures making it through the process this time.
My top legislative goal will be to continue to fight for full funding of education. I will work to help make sure our community colleges receive the funding they need to succeed and will continue working to strengthen preschool opportunities for our children. I will file Andrew’s Law, after our own Andrew Lloyd, to help protect the least among us. I want to re-introduce the idea of a commission to combat homelessness in our state and will work to create a grant program to help revitalize the downtowns of rural Mississippi communities. These and other issues are important to me because I believe they are important to you.
I look forward to hearing from you. Please call me at 662-287-1620, email firstname.lastname@example.org, message me on FaceBook at Nicholas Ryan Bain or follow me on Twitter @StaterepBain2.