Good habits start early and we can all shape future

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 1, 2006

The concept may be clich/, but it couldn’t be more true: Our nation’s tomorrow hinges upon the children of today.

Our youth will become future leaders of our community, our state and our nation — and good habits and good character starts today.

Right now, Little Susie may be riding around on a tri-cycle. Tomorrow, she may be riding around in a presidential motorcade.

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Little Johnny may be saving baseball cards. Tomorrow, he may be saving lives as a nurse or doctor.

While I may not have any children of my own yet, I can speak from experiences of my own childhood. Good habits learned at a young age stick with you all your life and help make you a better adult.

Why do you think Mom or Dad was always preaching that you brush your teeth before you go to bed or wash behind your ears? It is because those things stick with you forever.

Basic manners like holding a door open for someone, covering your mouth when you sneeze and saying “Bless you” are things that can often be overlooked.

Each of these and countless others can be ingrained now to make better adults.

But, these are only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other things that children need to be taught now so that it becomes part of who they are as adults.

First, a respect for fellow human beings should be fundamental in all households. If children are told that all people are to be treated equal regardless of race, religion, sex or other societal label then they will likely carry this with them well into adulthood.

Faith is another key principle that must be instilled at a young age. Ask any pastor and they will tell you that someone who is taught the value of religious faith at a young age will likely fill the pews for many years to come.

From a more selfish standpoint, I believe newspaper readership is the same way. Young people who learn now what newspapers have to offer will allow the paper to serve their needs as they grow older and as those needs evolve with what newspapers offer its readers.

No matter what the skeptics say, community newspapers will always hold value to us. After all, we are the yearbooks of your life.

No one can expect to turn on the TV or even the Internet and see their child or grandchild’s shining moment immortalized for future generations. CNN may be able to tell you what happened in Iraq but it cannot tell you how it affected your neighbor Bob who may have lost a loved one.

That is what community newspapers like The Ironton Tribune do better than anyone.

We want our youth and our future to be a part of this. The Ironton Tribune has always been committed to this community and we want to see it grow and prosper.

Newspapers in Education programs put newspapers in the schools so students can see what is going on in the world and learn about life. But we do need your help.

We are asking local businesses to help sponsor the program and help us educate the leaders of tomorrow. For more information, call our circulation manager Richard Duvendeck at (740) 532-1445 ext. 16.

We want our future leaders to be tuned in to the community and all the things that make southern Ohio great. What better way to start than by reading The Ironton Tribune, Ohio’s best small paper?

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at