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Letters to the Editors

Take a moment to count life's many blessings

© St. Petersburg Times
published April 18, 2003

My name is Rita Freedman. I have resided in Seffner for about five months. We love our home, the area, the weather and the people we have since met, who are so warm and friendly.

I felt compelled to write to you for a few reasons. I woke up this morning and was moved to tears when I saw the news and learned that our POWs were found alive and were in safe hands.

No one ever wants to go to war, and when one single life has been extinguished, it is a very powerful loss. Regardless of one's political views or stance on the war in Iraq, we should as a nation not waiver for a second in our support to both our president and to those brave men and women in our military. As proud and grateful as I have always been to be an American, after hearing of the safe return of our seven missing POWs, I have never been more proud and grateful than I am at this very moment.

I feel strongly that we should all take a step back, realize what is most important in our lives and count our many blessings.

The tragedy that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, has taught me so many invaluable lessons. Some were those I already knew, but I guess in many ways did not appreciate as fully as I should have. We are all guilty of taking so much that we have for granted.

When was the last time you woke up with a smile, thankful that you were given the gift of another day? When was the the last time someone asked for your help and you took the time that was required, without a feeling of reluctance or constantly looking at your watch? When was the last time you listened when someone had a problem, and I mean really listened? When was the last time you stopped to take in the beauty that nature has provided?

What is important is taking the time to demonstrate acts of kindness toward each other as well as tolerance, appreciation, respect and accepting the differences between ourselves. It is also letting our friends and loved ones know how precious they are.

There are so many simple things in life that cost nothing, but give so much in return. We must not lose sight of how precious life is and the gift which we have been given, that cannot last forever. We never know what tomorrow will bring, and it is a shame that it takes a tragedy to open our eyes to that which is important.

Make each moment of your life count. Make a difference.
-- Rita Freedman, Seffner

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