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Lauren and Rob Hudson: Positive messages for America’s Youth; we play for an exceptional team


It is a word thrown around often in our lives. Parents, friends, and mentors tell us to avoid negativity, yet sometimes it feels like we’re drowning in it. We live in a time when loud people in politics, popular culture, and social media seem to enjoy dragging others down. Regardless of their negativity, the rest of us can build a positive culture centered around common ground and big, meaningful principles.

In the coming weeks, we will present a series of columns which can help provide us with common ground and principles. We spotlight 15 parts of life: hope, education, integrity, marriage, work ethic, family, community, respecting faith, saving and avoiding debt, freedom, courage, honesty, competition, charity, and patriotism. We call them “pillars of exceptionalism” because they help support successful lives and a successful country. Next week we will dive right into the first pillar, hope.

Common ground and big principles like the pillars help with critical thinking, problem-solving and staying positive. It’s like winning a board game and having more fun because we worked together as a team to answer questions correctly. It’s even easier to stay positive because we play for a winning team in America.

Lauren and Rob Hudson: It Can Be Done

Despite what some people say, we live in an exceptional country with exceptional people. Most Americans have prepared well enough to seize opportunities and make their way productively in life. Many people succeeded by focusing on things like the pillars and, in turn, they helped the country succeed.

Some people don’t think America is exceptional because they think America simply isn’t better than most places. America has had and will always have struggles, as does every country. But we have a rich history of striving to tackle problems like poverty and discrimination, making improvements along the way. Yes, some countries do some things better, but our standard of living and progress over the years make a great case for exceptionalism.

Some people can’t embrace the idea that America is special because they think it sounds like boasting. But there’s nothing wrong with feeling good about our accomplishments, including building the world’s largest economy and becoming the most generous nation on the planet. People distinguish themselves every day, such as when job seekers explain why they should be hired. Congratulating one another for successes can be a positive part of life.

Some people don’t like the term American exceptionalism because it suggests one big culture rather than a diverse country. While it’s important to respect our differences, basic things we have in common can be even more important. Nobody could run a productive business or have a successful marriage without shared ideas and goals. With shared ideas like the pillars of exceptionalism, America will continue to win.

Make an important choice to live and lead optimistically, becoming part of American exceptionalism. See the good, not just the bad in life. Know that on just about every street in our communities, most Americans make daily choices to achieve and do the right thing. A mom has the courage to seek a better job to help her kids. A student stands up in front of the class and delivers a speech, overcoming stage fright. Across the country, hundreds of millions of examples present themselves each day.

By opening our hearts and minds to the American dreams playing out right in front of us, we can see the world in a different, better light. We can choose to bring people together based on common ground, rather than sitting back, dividing people, or trying to make ourselves feel superior by criticizing someone else’s past mistakes. We can lead, helping friends, family, and even total strangers, which is one of the best things about living in an exceptional country.

These columns for families are based on the book It Can Be Done @studentsleadusa. Join us next week when we explore the common ground of hope. Frost Brown Todd LLC Member Rob Hudson is a Past Chair of the Northern Kentucky Chamber and a recipient of its Frontiersman Award. 2018 Independent Author of the Year Lauren Hudson is a Singletary Scholar at the University of Kentucky.

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One Comment

  1. Roger Bales says:

    Great article! You should repost this one on the 4th of July. Proud to be an American!

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