This summer I have seen a particular television commercial repeatedly.

While a boy’s father prepares his school lunch, the boy is lost in practicing sign language. His desire to learn the signs causes him to not see anything around him until he walks up to a girl at a school lunch table, signs his name and asks if she would like to share his sandwich.

In the background of the commercial plays a song about a day when a person puts everything into perspective.

Clearly this commercial is effective at capturing a consumer’s heart, but doesn't it also capture a universal desire to do good, spread love and make a difference?

The last several weeks have presented an endless stream of news stories about mass shootings, sex crimes, hateful rhetoric, political impasse and racial prejudice against immigrants. Even locally, we read stories of gang shootings, injured officers and conflicts in school districts.

We need to step back and put everything into perspective.

Yes, we live in a messed-up world. People are different in style, perspective and personality. But in spite of our differences, who has not been touched by a simple act of kindness, love, or forgiveness?

It’s time to stop fanning the flame of hate. Let’s combat hate and conflict with love and peace. As adults, are we modeling kindness for our kids, or do we just leave that type of example to television commercials?

Byran Milliren 

Mount Vernon

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