Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush have recently cooperated on many worthwhile projects.

Now they have each written a preface to Sacha Zimmerman’s new book, “For America; Simple Things Each of Us Can Do to Make Our County Better” (Reader’s Digest Publications, 2006).

The suggestions are remarkably simple actions that I bet most of the readers of this column already take. Still, they are worth thinking about.

The first is to support “a strong family.” The suggestion is always to eat dinner together, or if you live in Oklahoma, make that supper. And remember that, in Zimmerman’s words, “Your children are more than a collection of report cards and extracurricular achievements.”

Then also keep track of your larger, or extended, family, and have a big family reunion once a year.

An especially good section is “Teach Your Children About Real Life.” Remember, the two important things in life are making a living and developing good relationships.

Other points the author makes are to be careful about too much television in your house. Take it out of the children’s rooms. He writes that “the average American child spends more time watching TV than attending school.” If it were all desirable material on the screen, it might not be so bad, but we know different.

There are many more good, practical ideas here. Volunteer. Donate as much money as you can to good causes. Write letters to the editor. Always vote.

Keep the numbers of your senators and representatives near the phone — both state and national. Zimmerman should have included the president’s comment line number (a real person answers!). It is (202) 456-1111. The capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121. Ask for any senator or representative.

My favorite idea here is “to practice random acts of kindness.” Several years ago a thoughtful person took the expression “random acts of violence” and changed it for the better. I try to practice some of these, and it is fun.

Pick up that blowing candy wrapper in front of the convenience store and put it in the trash. At the car wash vacuum area, use the vac to suck up little bits of glass and an occasional nail when you are finished cleaning your car.

Leave a tip and a note for the person who cleans the rooms at the motel. Write a thank-you note to your child’s or grandchild’s teacher.

To summarize: “Caring for your community is a fantastic way to care for the country.”

Trending Video

Recommended for you