Each year, especially at Christmas, Americans profess their desire for "Peace on Earth." Well, in the words of the 1955 song, "Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me."
We need to stop waiting for "them" to change and starting making some changes ourselves.
This philosophy can and should be extended to many facets of our lives.
It's time to end the political hostilities that have dominated the nation in recent years.
This past election was especially bitter. Is that really what we want our nation to be like? Personal relationships, online and in person, were strained because of the bitter political rivalry.
Even after the election, some refused to let the dust settle. Secession petitions were being distributed. Do we not remember the "Join or Die" editorial cartoon from the American Revolution era or the national motto of "E Pluribus Unum"? Have we forgotten why we are called the United States?
Most Americans still value the art of compromise. In a recent Gallup poll, two-thirds of Americans said they would prefer their elected representatives to compromise on fiscal cliff issues.
Americans should emphasize bipartisan cooperation in emails and letters to their elected leaders in Washington and elsewhere.
Compromise on other issues, too. That's how we will all get along with each other.
In addition, look at how to bring peace to our communities. This includes taking steps to improve community watch programs and other efforts to reduce crime, but there's so much more to be done.
Be kind toward your fellow man. A simple smile can do a lot to brighten another person's day. A few kind words are even stronger.
Support charities through financial donations and volunteering as well. You'll be better for it, and so will your neighbors.
Raise your children to have proper morals, which means not just discussing right and wrong but actually making those correct decisions in your life.
Don't just proclaim "Peace on Earth" but actively strive to bring it about. And keep this spirit alive not just at Christmas, but throughout the year.
This Christmas Day, we extend our wish for peace to you and yours.