Today we honor the memory of those who lost their lives when our country was under attack on Sept. 11, 2001. It’s a sad memory to recall, but it’s necessary that we remember evil is alive and well in our world and be grateful for our military, firefighters and police officers who do their best to keep us safe.

We can bring that thought closer to home, and be thankful for the school administration and teachers who do their best to keep you safe while you’re at school. Now, it’s your turn to do your part. 

There are kids at school who have really messed up home lives. They need good friends at school and sometimes someone to confide in and talk to. You can be that friend. Look around for someone who looks lonely and lost. Be the friend they need.

Sometimes a kid with home problems grows up to be very bitter and hateful. They want to take out their anger on society and try to make a name for themselves. I often wonder if someone had showed them kindness when they were growing up, if things could have turned out differently.

We are not going to rid our world of all evil, but we can each do our part — one friend at a time. A smile doesn’t cost you anything. Give them out freely and often. A smile also has benefits for you! Smiling relaxes the facial muscles and calms the nervous system. Laughing sends more oxygen to the brain. That triggers the release of brain chemicals called endorphins. That makes you feel better.

Each of you were created unique, special and have an important task to do. The possibilities of great things are endless. Do your best, be a friend, be grateful for your blessings and find someone who needs your friendship. You can change the world!

Donna has written for the HDT for more than 19 years. When off the clock, she enjoys writing for children, teaching piano lessons and being a pastor's wife. The Braymers have three married sons and daughter-in-laws and 9 grandchildren.

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