by Lisa Sheldon, Guest Writer
Often, we are sent press releases regarding books
that are about to be released. Unless they have specific ties to
County, we do not generally give them a second glance. Recently, we
received a release about The
Handbook for Americans, published by Hatherleigh Press and released
for free as an eBook.
It contains copies of the Declaration of
Independence, the Constitution, facts, history, traditions, timelines
and more. The focus is to give citizens important information to help
them understand the country they live in and the rights they have. We
all have the ability--and many would say the obligation--to actively
participate in the shaping of our country’s future. If we remain
inactive, we are choosing to allow others to choose our future.
The press release lists “11 Ways to Be a Better
American.” Are you ready to be amazed by the simple suggestions they
By participating in elections at the local, state and national level, we
make our opinions heard. Understand the issues. Learn as much as you can
about the candidates. Vote responsibly.
Read newspapers and magazines. Talk to your friends,
co-workers, neighbors. Go online and read current Bills before Congress.
An educated American is an empowered citizen. Watch the news on
television, but not just one channel. The more views you get, the better
informed you are.
Exercise your right to
free speech. When we articulately and intelligently
state our opinions, popular or not, we truly live up to the hopes and
dreams of the Founding Fathers. Freedom of speech is an extraordinary
businesses. When we buy products labeled “Made in
USA”, we are supporting our economy and
creating jobs for our fellow citizens.
Support Americans in
need. The Gulf oil disaster. Flash floods. Our neighbors
need us. Help your fellow Americans. Donate your time, services or money
to those less fortunate than you.
Use your time
meaningfully and wisely. Volunteer for local charities.
Help out at the local school or nursing home. Organize a neighborhood
clean-up. Let’s all do what we can to support each other and the
communities we live in.
Reread our founding
documents. The principles laid out in the Declaration of
Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are timeless and
essential. This country’s founders envisioned a future we are living out
today--and we can turn to these documents whenever our democratic
institutions and expectations are challenged and need to be
Look to the past for
perspective. Our Nation’s history is rich with moments
when strength and resilience transcended hardship and adversity. Look to
the lives of our great leaders, presidents, and citizens for
Teach the next
generation. Like anything else, enlightened patriotism
comes from education, not ignorance. Teach children about the special
rights and responsibilities we share as Americans, and how they can
exercise those rights. Set the example by being a good citizen.
Enjoy and protect America’s natural resources.
Conserve. Recycle. Help clean up a river or
plant a tree. Our democracy deserves a home as
beautiful as its ideals.
Above all else: Bet on
Good. Believe in America. Believe that together we can
forge a better future and better ways of doing things.
Believe it, then do it.
This book challenges each of us to make every day
Independence Day by taking full advantage of your rights and
responsibilities as a citizen of the U.S. The ultimate success of our
democracy rests upon individual citizens who make up this great Nation.
I am not hawking the book, but if you are
interested in reading more, you can download a free copy of
The Handbook for Americans by
visiting the Hatherleigh Bookstore website,
www.HatherleighBookstore.com, and follow the simple instructions.