Let’s talk about a subject that leaves some people uncomfortable: Poverty.
The poverty line is the estimate of the minimum level of income needed for basic life necessities. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s report, 40.6 million people in the country lived under the poverty line in 2016, a third of them children.
Every New Year’s resolution centers on some action or activity that we link to self-improvement. I have a twist to the usual self-improvement resolution. Ever consider a New Year’s commitment that focuses on working toward self-improvement for others? Specifically, I’m suggesting that donating blood through various organizations, most notably the Red Cross, is a particularly strong New Year’s resolution.
New Year’s is just around the corner, and it’s one holiday that most of us celebrate as we review, casually or formally, what we’ve done in the past and consider what improvements we might actually follow through on in the coming year.
The timing is appropriate. December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month (President Barack Obama made the proclamation in 2015), and because the ending of the year abuts New Year’s Eve — an event associated with revelry — I’d like to offer a suggestion not just for this holiday period but rather one for the entire year.
It’s the Holiday Season and amidst all of the preparations and celebrations, it is the perfect time to seek a few moments of much needed reflection, and hopefully achieve a greater sense of intimacy with family and friends.
I say Holiday Season because during December, religions that are not Christian have their own calendar for a time and approach to a special celebration that is meaningful to their faithful and yet might not coincide with ours.
While most of us will anticipate the fun of the holiday season, a dark cloud becomes prevalent around the same time: flu season. It begins in October and lingers into early spring, with January and February being the peak time.
Occasionally, I worry that some people confuse the flu with the common cold. Please don’t say, “it’s only the flu, he or she will be OK.” It’s not all right, particularly because it is so preventable.
On Dec. 8, some of my neighbors and, yes, even those of you who do not live in the areas I represent will have an opportunity to help spread some holiday cheer. All of us, from time to time, could use a reminder of how fortunate we are and the blessings we’ve received. These fortunate circumstances, I hope, will at least prompt some to offer a helping hand to those who are less fortunate.
November is National Diabetes Month, a time when communities across the country team up to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. Diabetes is a major health issue both because of the dangers it can levy on your health and its growing prevalence across our general population.
Many of our holidays have symbols — some secular, some sacred — that capture the essence of the individual holiday. For Christmas, it’s Santa Claus and baby Jesus in a crib. For Thanksgiving, it’s a stuffed Turkey (and the trimmings) and understanding that the feast centers around a table of plenty shared by family and friends.
As I noted in last week’s blog, I am a believer in our veterans. I am not only a believer but a supporter of our military personnel, and that support doesn’t end once they return to civilian life. Indeed, while the military was responsible for their members when they were on active duty, it is we, legislators and citizens alike, who must offer the support and direction they both deserve and frequently need upon their re-entry into civilian life.
I am a believer in our veterans. I am a believer that these heroic men and women, who serve in our armed forces, deserve an extraordinary amount of gratitude and consideration because they provide an extraordinary degree of service to the citizens of the United States.