The Enduring Spirit and Optimism of the American People
On this Christmas Day, if we were to reflect on the last few years, we would recall the unending attacks on our character and motivations by the political and media establishments.
During this time of gratitude and reflection, I’m sure that we agree to once and for all reject the evil cartoonish versions of ourselves perpetuated by a jealous and panicked establishment and instead focus on who we really are. The generosity of the people of this nation is an everyday event, having been made even more powerful by the astounding success of our president, his team and supported by the enduring spirit and optimism of the American people.
Our ability to help more of our fellow citizens, and to be increasingly optimistic about our future, is something for which I will be eternally grateful. Yet we’ve been inundated 24/7 with “news” of the Democrats’ self-obsession and fixation on revenge for losing an election. Americans grew uninterested as it became apparent, once again, that it was just another scheme by a group unable to think of anything or anyone but itself.
I have news for Congress Critters: We’re not watching your predictable (and dumb) reality show because we’re busy living our lives and helping our neighbors. Here now is what the American people have been focusing on instead; actions not covered as much, but you don’t need to be on the news to be changing peoples’ lives.
Earlier this month, an Oregon coffee shop owner temporarily closed her coffee shop to work at her competitors’ shop while he was seeking cancer treatment.
Fox News reported, “A coffee shop owner in Oregon temporarily closed her shop in order to help out a couple of friends in need — friends who happen to run the competing coffee stand up the road. She told [Yahoo News] she also wanted to give back to the community because she herself had survived breast cancer shortly before opening Moonlight Coffee House in 2017.
‘I thought about what my cancer journey had been like, how hard it was to juggle and balance treatment and time with family and business. I told Tina, ‘I want to do this for you, so you can spend whatever time Dave has left, at home with him.’ “
This is who we are.
On the other coast, selfless generosity was also making a difference when a 73-year-old Florida man paid the utility bills for 36 families about to lose heat over the holidays. When Mike Esmond was a child, his family had a hard time paying the gas bill, and they lived without heat for a full winter. Now a successful local business owner, he decided to make sure to not let that happen to his neighbors.
“He went to the city of Gulf Breeze, Florida — where he lives — and asked them to put together a list of all the people that were slated to have their gas and water shut off by that Dec. 26 date. Esmond said they told him a total of 36 families needed his help, so he decided to pay off their bills for around $4,600,” NBC’s “Today Show” reported. ” He’s hoping his simple act of kindness inspires people to pay it forward.”
This is who we are.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle helpers ringing their bells asking for donations. Most of us plan on holding our change or pulling out a few extra dollars for the kettle when we’re leaving a store knowing the Salvation Army’s work helps everyone in the community year-round. But then there are special heroes.
WBOY in West Virginia reported, “The Salvation Army of Monongalia, Preston and Marion counties received a thousand dollar bill from an anonymous donor. The donor donated the bill, printed in 1928, as part of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign, which is where most of the organization’s budget for 2020 comes from. Sheldon Greenland, a lieutenant with the Army, said the donor has been dropping off thousand dollar bills for 41 years.”
And not just any $1,000 bill, a special rare bill worth many times its face value.
This is who we are.
And then there are the Layaway “Secret Santas,” now a Christmas tradition throughout the country. The headlines say it all. In Alabama, “Secret Santa Pays Off $65,000 Layaway Balances.” In Montana, “A secret donor paid off thousands of dollars in Walmart layaways.” In Michigan, “An unidentified good Samaritan paid about $3,000 to pay off layaways that had gifts for children.” And in Amarillo, “Amarillo Activity Youth Center ‘Secret Santa’ comes back a second year, donates $2,600 gift cards to kids.”
This, too, is who we are.
The stories are endless, but you do have to look for them. Whether it be a church in Los Angeles paying off medical debt for thousands in need, a Miami barbershop providing free haircuts and shaves for the homeless, or a Secret Santa in Idaho “who wants to remain anonymous and wants to help as many people as he can” by spending $500,000, “surprising deserving people and families every day from now until Christmas with gifts unique to their circumstances.”
While Congress is gazing at its navel, fixated as usual on themselves, we remain focused on what really matters — our families, friends, neighbors and the strangers who need us. This is who we are, and don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.
President Trump reminds us, “our best days are yet to come.” Believe it. We’ve just started getting our nation back on her feet. Everything is possible! Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, everyone!
• Tammy Bruce, president of Independent Women’s Voice, author and Fox News contributor, is a radio talk-show host.