October 18, 2002
This country's irrepressible strength is derived from the unbelievably strong character of its people. We, as a nation, have never faltered in the face of danger or adversity. In times of trouble, we have always banded together and overcome any obstacle that has threatened to strip us of our freedom.
A good portion of our country's strength, power and might can be traced back to our "small town" roots. Our country was originally comprised of many small communities whose citizenry collectively possessed a common goal. They wanted America to become a country where its inhabitants were free to achieve their dreams.
Our population has grown a great deal in the ensuing two hundred plus years and as a result, many large metropolitan areas have evolved. Yet to this day, there are tens of thousands of these small communities dotting the countryside throughout our great nation. The inhabitants of these small towns embody the original true American spirit. They still exhibit that special small town "charm" -- and that is very refreshing indeed.
If you have never experienced or perhaps have forgotten the warmth and heartfelt sincerity of a small town's charm, maybe you need to take a quick trip back to the country. In most small towns in the United States, you'll find people who consistently treat others with respect and decency. In these small communities, you will discover that a person's handshake is still his or her bond. Not only that, you'll find that these country folk will go out of their way to help a total stranger in need.
I'm not suggesting that these traits and qualities are not present in the big cities of America. But without question, the hustle and bustle associated with the big city sometimes drains and diminishes our charm to some degree. Regardless of where you live in America, big city, small town or somewhere in between let's all commit to bringing back that special small town charm to our every day life again. Simply saying "please" and "thank you" and treating each other with dignity and respect is a great place to start.
We need to remember that a compliment doesn't cost us a dime, yet brings tremendous returns to us and the recipient as well. And a kind word is always a whole lot better than criticism or faultfinding. No matter what kind of day we are having, we need to condition ourselves to always (and I do mean always) treat people the way we would want to be treated ourselves. We need to remember that each and every person we are privileged to meet is special individual and to treat them in that manner.
When we carry that small town charm into our everyday interactions with others, we can help make America a better place, a nicer place, a friendlier place for all of us.
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