It's about spirit

May 31 2012 - 12:49pm

This is about spirit. When I think of spirit I recall going to my son's high school basketball games and hearing the cheerleaders yell, "We've got spirit yes we, do, we've got spirit how about you?" They would direct the challenge to the fans of the opposing team.

The question is still relevant today -- have we got spirit?

Perhaps no other word in the English language carries more mystique than the word "spirit." A definition of the word affirms this; "The animating principle of life; a supernatural incorporeal being."

The word spirit is assigned to many aspects of life such as: school spirit, entrepreneurial spirit, the holy spirit, the great spirit, team spirit, the spirit of '76, spirit of St Louis, pioneer spirit, esprit de corps, adventurous spirit, free spirit, patriotic spirit, family spirit, spirit of the law, neighborly spirit, spirit of America, even evil spirit.

Our AmeriCAN-Do spirit has played a key role in making this country what it is today. There have been times in our history when we have lacked believing in ourselves and needed a big dose of "can-do spirit."

It seems that now is one of those times, as we are bombarded with challenge after challenge to keep our country strong. There are many naysayers who believe that America has lost the will to be the shining city on a hill; even belief that our form of government and our guiding principles are passA(c) and meaningless. But over the decades Americans have always found a way to push through difficult times; the challenges we face today are different from those faced in the past but not insurmountable. The first person we need to convince is ourselves. We have to start with the belief that ours is a country of values worth saving and that we CAN-DO it.

Your personal belief in AmeriCAN-Do spirit will be useful in generating the same belief in others who are not feeling positive about America's future. The AmeriCAN-DO Spirit Project offers an opportunity to participate in something that will bolster American morale. By putting your belief in America to work you'll have a positive impact on the challenges facing our country.

You can participate in two ways: First, by writing an essay on the subject -- Our American-Do Spirit and; and Second, becoming a sponsor by contributing to the project so more people can be rewarded for their good essays. Many of us receive dozens of requests every month to donate to various causes, often you don't learn much about how the money was spent or even whether it made any difference. Contributions to Our AmeriCAN-Do Project will stay here in the Wasatch Front and be used to give awards to people (possibly you or a neighbor) who write the winning essays. Winning essays will be published in local newspapers in hopes that they will inspire others.

We all have heroes in our lives, someone who has demonstrated special qualities that we admire. Whether it's someone we have known personally or a historical figure, their lives have been inspirational to us.

A personal hero of mine is an uncle who had a can-do spirit. He grew up during the Great Depression, served in the 101st Airborne at Normandy on D-Day, and in the Battle of the Bulge; later he served in Korea. Uncle "Son" Ernest G. King, survived a couple of battlefield injuries, returned home to his wife and family and raised seven children.

I'm sure you have heroes of your own who demonstrated a can-do spirit. Why not share your story, you may win a cash award or simply feel the pride of putting into words how you feel about someone very special; you might even inspire someone whose belief in America needs a boost.

For information about how to participate in the AmeriCAN-Do Spirit Essay Contest contact John W. Reynolds at 801-782-8077 or

Reynolds lives in Pleasant View. He is a retired businessman and member of the Kiwanis Club of North Ogden.

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