“There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened, and maintained.” — Winston Churchill.

Churches and schools, neighborhoods and communities can all do their best to step in and support the family unit, helping teach and back virtuous behaviors; however, the impression of family cannot be replaced. How has your family set you up, or not set you up, to develop and demonstrate common human virtues? How have you taught, or are you teaching, your family to appreciate such qualities?

Speak truth to those who believe differently than you, show kindness to those who look differently than you, act with restraint toward those who respond differently than you. Honor a hard-working dad’s fortitude, recognize a tired mom’s patience, and celebrate a teenager’s courage. Speak to the generosity of a retiree living on a fixed income, the humility of a successful business owner, and the honor of those who serve. Recognize the radiance in a person’s smile, the friendliness in your neighbor’s actions, and justice in your friend’s alliance. And “may the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity,” Romans 15:5.

If we would commit to maintaining a sincere gratefulness and faithful dedication to family all year long, what a change in perspective we would have, what a positive shift in culture we would see, and beautiful openness to others we would experience. May the homes we establish, and the families we create, nurture and carry on the very best of our human virtues.

Carissa Marine serves as CEO of the Champion for Children Foundation of Highlands County, a 501©3 nonprofit organization providing child abuse prevention programs and early-intervention services to local children and families. All gifts and donations are tax-deductible and incredibly appreciated. The office is at 419 E. Center Ave., Sebring, FL 33870. The office number is 863-382-2905. The website is www.ChampionforChildren.org