Pickering has priorities straight


August 17, 2007


In a day when "family values" has become almost a cliché and a buzzword in the political arena, it is refreshing to see one of the brightest stars in the political cosmos actually practice them.  However, it comes as no surprise when you consider the man in question.

Congressman Chip Pickering has long embodied all that is best in the way he has conducted himself both in and out of office.  He is a man with deep spiritual convictions and sense of family responsibility.  At age 44, he and his wife are the parents of five sons ranging in age from 8 to 17.  As every parent knows, that is a critical time in a child's life--a time when they need the full attention of their father.  The life of a U.S. Congressman doesn't easily lend itself to being fully involved and engaged in the lives of five growing boys.  While many with his bright political future would be engrossed in staying on the go and doing all they could to further their career ambitions and power base, Chip Pickering made a quality decision.

You see, I believe that he understands that his real legacy in this life is not what political heights he can scale, but the kind of sons he does his best to turn out.  While it is Mississippi's loss, and no doubt an act of self-sacrifice for Congressman Pickering, it is a choice well made.

No doubt he will now have the time to invest himself in the lives of his children in a way that will make them better, and, like ripple in a pond, go on to multiply the seeds of goodness and wisdom he has sown in their lives for the betterment of others.

My guess is that we haven't heard the last of Chip Pickering in the public arena.  He will still be a relatively young man when he and his wife will have fulfilled the phase of getting their offspring to adulthood.  He will then be free to use his talents and abilities in ways that, I feel sure, will benefit the greater good.  He comes from a good family and it obviously rubbed off.

I'm sure, in part because of this decision not to seek another term in the House, we will be able to say the same thing of his sons as they grow and mature into the next generation of Pickerings.  While we are saddened to lose him as a representative of Mississippi in the Congress, we admire and applaud his living out his priorities in a way that is an example to us all.

I'm Jim Cameron. Let us know what you think.