There are moments when the vision of the perfect American small town is realized here in beautiful Cambria. Amidst the fractiousness of diverse world views, small moments of grace slip through the noise, just enough to bring a bit of positivity to balance things out. For every rally cry or protest, there are quieter moments where true inspiration occurs almost unnoticed. Within these moments, we get to experience joy, hope, admiration, and pride in the grace and positivity of this remarkable place.
He drives the community bus.
You see him at the Cookie Crock, cheerfully helping his charges pick items from the shelf. Then, he positions the shopping cart and carefully transfers the day’s groceries and passengers safely into the bus. He does all this with respectful ease, bringing calm to what might be an anxious outing for our senior neighbors.
He smiles a lot, and banters a bit, and seems to know what is needed – support, independence, gentle assistance, some of all the above.
When not behind the wheel, he participates in the larger community discourse. He expresses his opinions and presses for answers on matters that concern him. He holds solid views but doesn’t lock out other voices who see things differently. While others shout, insult, threaten or accuse, he raises his hand or writes a letter. He exercises his rights as a thoughtful adult.
They will create a better future.
Seven young women from Coast Union’s class of 2021 accepted scholarships from the Cambria UU community. Intelligent, articulate, focused. Humble, grateful, and well aware of the opportunities they have earned.
They spoke of their role models – parents and families who sacrificed so much to give their children more than they took for themselves. As each student shared their plans for the future, they gave me, and many others, a teary-eyed hope for the future.
They will take advantage of the generosity they received and return those gifts to their community through the skills and experiences they will have gained. These seven young women, and the rest of the remarkable graduating class of 2021, are role models.
Behind these graduates flow lines of teachers, parents, employers, and community contributors standing as examples of living one’s values. You take your principles into the streets, the shops and restaurants, the farms and ranches, and the places of worship. You turn abstract concepts into tangible skills, demonstrating how to defeat the roadblocks and obstacles that sometimes slow us down.
You are the local business owners standing in the street with the kids, fighting for a place to skate and congregate.
You are the educators who design curriculums that teach rudimentary skills, the value of teamwork, and the value of commitment.
You are the first responders who arrive when our stress is high, and fears are real. You bring physical bravery and skill, but your kindness and compassion save us more often.
You are the keeper of the environment, the holder of the positive attitude. A builder, not a destroyer.
You demonstrate what good looks like, what truth sounds like, and how decency feels.
It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.
Shine on, beautiful Cambria.