Governor Bill Lee gave advice to the participants of Boys State Thursday morning.
Lee said programs like Boys State are important because they teach the next generation about leadership. He said it is important to keep young people engaged with politics and civics in a democracy.
“You do understand and you learn that we are a government of the people,” Lee said. “And I will just say that we will remain only a government of the people, if and only if the people remain engaged in the government.”
Lee said he encourages the next generation to be civil and respectful when disagreements arise. He said he urges the young men in the program to see their differences as a chance to communicate and work together.
“Differences are not a platform for demonization, and so often in today’s world that’s what they become,” Lee said. “I’m not talking about compromising something you believe, or moving to the middle to make something happen, I’m just saying recognizing that the person on the other side of the argument with you has as great a value and dignity as you do.”
Lee said he is encouraged by what the future looks like for Tennessee and the United States and its future leader. He said he hopes when he leaves office that the next generation will leave the state in a better place than he left it.
“We in Tenessee are incredibly fortunate to have a great group of you who are so interested and engaged in leading in a way that gives me great hope,” Lee said.