Honor the deserving

Recently I had the honor and privilege to attend the Southern Women’s Committee of Fifty luncheon celebrating the 2009 Southern Women of Distinction.

The Committee honored my late wife, Patricia, in memoriam, as well as three other women who have excelled in their fields as an author, an athlete and a Jefferson County circuit judge. My boys and I are truly grateful that the committee chose to honor Patricia in this meaningful way.

None of the honorees aspired to become Women of Distinction. That is, their life goals were to be the best athlete, author or public servant they could be and to treat people with compassion and respect; that was the way they were raised and that is the way they have lived their lives.

There is a lesson in this for us. All of us have the potential to be persons of distinction by doing the best we can every day and by treating people fairly.

For those of us who are parents, this will have a ripple effect that will extend for generations. When our children see us living our lives in this way, in all probability they will follow our example and will grow to be good parents, good friends and generally good people. One day, your child or grandchild may be honored as a person of distinction.

I congratulate the Southern Women’s Committee of Fifty for organizing and sponsoring this wonderful event.

Nearly 500 people attended the luncheon for this year’s honorees at The Club in Birmingham. The proceeds from the luncheon are going to the Birthday Wish Program helping foster parents give their foster children a special birthday and to the Citizenship Challenge of the American Village here in Shelby County.

These two programs focus on giving young people foundations of love and education so that they too can develop into people of distinction.