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What will you do with your experience?

Experience is a great teacher. The whole world has been through over a year of COVID and death, so what have we learned?

I am a survivor and blessed beyond measure. I am alive and well and so is my family. I was blessed before the pandemic and I will now share why.

I was born in another country, but came to America with family. Married, had four children, divorced and then on my own. On welfare then off. Worked two jobs, no car, walked everywhere I went. I have buried two sons and continued working till my old age. You may say I deserve a handout, but I say that having to struggle made me a better person, as the older generation knows from experience.

But in our country today there are so many who did not learn from two famous men, one Black, one white. John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for you country.” Martin Luther King Jr. said “We must learn to live together as brothers and sisters or perish together as fools.” And of course, God gave us the Golden Rule: Treat others as you would want to be treated.

I struggled to live and raise a family on my own and maybe missed out on a better life because I didn’t get a higher education. Tough times never last, but tough people do.

I realize there are hurting people and people in need after this last year. Each individual can let the bad get them down, or they can rise above their circumstance. If we each put forth our best efforts for ourselves, our fellow man and our country, then all the big problems will soon become smaller.

Remember your source of strength and conviction. Keep high morals and values. Have integrity and compassion. Seek to serve God and your country. And stand behind all that is good. We must always defend what we know is right and stand tall and proud for the nation we are blessed to live in.

My past experiences tell me if each individual will do their part and work together, then both the words of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King will not have been spoken in vain.

God bless our wonderful nation.

Alicia Flannery

Petroleum, W.Va.

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