My fellow Americans, the only way a country can become truly great is for its citizens to become truly good. So in the spirit of John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you...” here are ten good things you can do for your country:
1. Become friends with people who are different from you. Respectfully share good things from the diversity of your cultures, traditions and faith convictions.
2. Be generous with your neighbors in need. Government programs must do their part, but each of us needs to volunteer more of our time and resources to help those less fortunate across the street and around the world.
3. Live a life of honesty and integrity. Show up on time at your work or school every day. Do your share and more. Never defraud your workers, employers, government agencies, insurance companies, or any other persons or institutions.
4. Obey all legitimate laws, and work to change unjust ones. Be law abiding not just for fear of being caught but simply because of who you are and the good example you want to set.
5. Respect all life from the womb to the tomb. Honor the unborn, and help spare the already born from the ravages of abuse, hunger, disease, war and poverty.
6. Save lovemaking for the married love of your life. Be faithful to your spouse, and take responsibility to bring up children in loving, stable and nurturing environments.
7. Take special care of the planet’s soil, air and water. Reduce wasteful consumption by reusing and enjoying more of what you already have, recycling everything you can, and by relying less on forms of energy that pollute the atmosphere and waste scarce resources.
8. Don’t harm your body with tobacco, illegal drugs, or other harmful substances. Take personal responsibility for your health by eating right, exercising every day and maintaining a good level of emotional and spiritual well-being.
9. Honor your parents, grandparents and all aging and dependent persons. Care for them as you would want to be cared for yourself.
10. Avoid entertainment media that promote pornography, denigrate women, and glorify violence--and make sure to protect children from their destructive influences. Spend less time with TV, movies, video games and the Internet and more time in wholesome interactions with real people.
With God’s help, we could truly make ours a great country and the whole world a better neighborhood. In the process we could save billions in law enforcement and court expenses, in health care costs, and in prison and social service programs.
Best of all, none of the above would require special legislation or more tax dollars, only more personal responsibility by people like you and me.
Reposted July 11, 2011 blog.