When one first hears the word pride, most I feel think of it in terms of the negative connotation. Meaning someone who thinks more highly of themselves than he or she ought. This definition of proud is not an incorrect one, but as the VALOR group toured all over Southwest Virginia, the other definition of pride was very evident. The definition that would reflect satisfaction and pleasure of ones upbringing, surroundings, heritage, etc. The folks of this region are a resilient group of individuals. Through adversity and hardship through much of the 19th and 20th century, they have not let their spirit or determination be shaken.
Folks in this area know and respect the value of good, hard labor. This is why businesses like Vanguard are attracted to the area. They know they will be welcome by supplying good paying jobs and in return the, will be able hire people willing to work hard to make an honest living. And the manufacturing industry in Hillsville and Galax is booming!
Everywhere we went, people seemed to welcome us with open arms. They seemed happy to share with us their little slice of heaven and your could see and feel how proud they were for us to be there and the chance for them to tell their story.
This seminar was an eye-opening experience for me. It was a reminder of no matter what our circumstances are, there is always something we can be proud of and something we can share with out neighbor.