Since I love being published in Chicken Soup for the Soul books, I am on their email list to receive “Story Call Out” emails. These emails describe the future titles the publishers are working on to give writers the opportunity to submit stories that fit the current themes.
The email I received yesterday was titled “My Kind (of) America” and my first thought was ‘Ugh. This isn’t a good time to be thinking about My Kind of America.’
But then I noticed the parenthesis and I read the rest of the email and I decided that this is a perfect assignment for everyone in our country right now. The book isn’t just going to be about ‘My Kind of America‘. It is going to be about ‘My KIND America‘. And the story call out gives all of us the opportunity to really look for and focus on the kindness of individuals that help make up America.
Yes, there is a lot going on in our country right now that is unpleasant to many of us. It’s not just the politics. It is also the anger and animosityÂ and division that the politics are bringing into our homes and our friendships. And all we have to do is turn on the television or read the news or visit Facebook to have those negative feelings dropped right into our laps. But amidst all of that, there are still many, many people who are, as individuals, reminding us that America is made up of its citizens as well as its politicians. And that we all have the opportunity to not only help create ‘Our Kind of America’, but also to acknowledge it when we see it from others.
So my self-appointed assignment for today is to pay attention and really look for the acts of kindness that I see everyday and have become almost oblivious to: the good mothers, the kind strangers, the performers who bring happiness to others; the first responders and teachers and store clerks; the friends and neighbors and even our friends on Facebook who do their best to spread positive, inspirational messages instead of harping on all of the negativity that is floating around out there. There is so much that is great about America and we can see a lot more of it if we just take the time to look for it. That’s what I am going to do today.
Here are some excerpts from the “Story Call Out” email:
It’s time to make America kind again. We have always been known as a country filled with good people who volunteer in our communities, help people who need help, and pride ourselves on doing the right thing….
This is not a book about politics. This is a book about people, one at a time, doing what we do best. Tell us your positive and uplifting experiences about living in a kind America, the kind of America we know to be the true America. We know you will think of many more topics, but here are a few possibilities to get you thinking:
How it feels to help other people
Talk about being the doer of good deeds and also the recipient of good deeds
What is your “kind America?” How do you define it?
Do you serve our country in the armed services? Do you have a family member who does so? How does that make you feel? What kinds of sacrifices do you make?
Tell us stories that demonstrate the kind America that we all love.
If you are a teacher or an influencer, how have you used your power to keep American kind?
What does the American flag mean to you?
If anyone is interested in submitting stories for future Chicken Soup for the Soul books, here is a list of their upcoming book topics.