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2021 Jan

Be Kind

Here’s how you can make our country stronger and better.

My dad was a proud officer in the U.S. Navy. He served our country with pride and instilled in his six children a fierce loyalty to and love for our country. Often at the dinner table, he would ask us a simple question, “What did you do for your country today?”

It turns out he wasn’t expecting us to wave a flag or sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” No, instead his purpose was to remind us that it’s the small acts of kindness that matter. Had we helped the teacher who lived next door carry in her groceries? Did we donate some of our allowance to the collection plate at church? Closer to home, were we doing our chores without needing to be reminded? And most important, were we being kind to our siblings?

His message was loud and clear: what we do to help our fellow humans is what makes our country stronger and better. As we embark on a new, uncertain year, let’s try to remember that we all need a little extra dose of kindness in the coming weeks and months. Reaching out to help those you know and even those you don’t will help keep this country going strong until we can all get back on our feet again.

Teach your children to be kind and giving. It’s the most important lesson they’ll learn. Perhaps your daughter will take it to heart and choose to serve her country in the military one day. Or your son will discover a passion for helping others in the nursing profession. As parents, we can plant the seeds that will help our children be better citizens, and this in turn will help our country be the best it can be.

Show your love for your country by flying the U.S. flag if you have one. It’s a symbol of unity and tradition and a reminder that we’ll all get through this together. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Peggy Sijswerda

Peggy Sijswerda is the editor and publisher of Tidewater Family Plus magazine. She has an MFA in creative nonfiction from Old Dominion University and is the author of Still Life with Sierra, a travel memoir. Peggy also freelances for a variety of regional, national, and international magazines.

Website: www.peggysijswerda.com

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