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Mike Rogers: It Starts with You

Every community has people that exemplify the qualities that make a good neighbor. In your town, this might be the person who volunteers at the polls on Election Day, puts together a meal train for a sick friend, or snow-blows the neighbor’s sidewalk. This is part of the beauty of America. We’re rooted in the ideals of friends helping friends and neighbors supporting neighbors.

These acts are more than good deeds. The American Dream is rooted in the ideal of this motion: to lead by example and take ownership in creating a better tomorrow.

In a recent trip across my home state of Michigan, I saw this in action. Throughout my five-day listening tour, I visited with a veteran’s group that is working to serve wounded warriors and provide support for those who are struggling. I stopped into a Brighton high school classroom where students are striving to become leaders that make a real difference. I spoke with Lansing business leaders who have committed their lives to providing jobs for others and creating economic stability. I listened as a phenomenal literacy nonprofit outlined their plan for increased reading rates across Michigan.

Throughout these conversations, I heard time and again the need for civility and unity in our nation. While we may disagree on politics or priorities, we must return to the place where we find common ground and serve our neighbor. Our country faces some incredibly difficult issues; there are undoubtedly difficult times ahead. If we’re not united as a nation, these problems will be even more challenging to overcome.

But America has always been bigger than her problems, and I believe the spirit of the American people is strong enough to overcome. It starts in your home. It starts at your school. It starts in your workplace.

We must return to the place where we see people as people – not as Republican or Democrat. United, we can do so much more.

So coach that little league team. Volunteer for the park cleanup on a Saturday morning. Teach your neighbor how to read. There is no act too big or small. That is the beautiful thing about America: it starts with you. Step up and make a difference.

Want to make a difference but don’t know where to start? Check out our resources page!