A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky by Heart: And, to the letter, sharing big plans and good wishes for this brand new year

By Steve Flairty
Special to NKyTribune

I have big plans for 2019, and probably not surprisingly for you, the readers, they entail a great emphasis on informing others about this special place where I’ve lived nearly all my life, the Bluegrass State.

Please indulge me as I share a few of those plans, and may you adopt some of them for YOUR plans for the new year!

Here they are, acrostically written using the K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y  b-y  H-E-A-R-T theme:

K–I plan to be a little more kind to those who disparage our state and then seek to teach them the whole story. In this place abides a world of positives. Let’s shout them out from the top of Black Mountain!

E–I plan to use my energy to help fellow Kentuckians develop a good, and lasting, feeling about our state. That means focusing on the positives, and there are plenty.

N–I plan to discourage those notions that Kentucky is a wholly backward state, and show that we have actually led in many beneficial initiatives.

T–I plan to continue to give talks about the everyday heroes all around our commonwealth. Ask me to come and share with YOUR group!

U–I plan to try to better understand the forces that shape the ways fellow Kentuckians think, regardless of my own views.

C–I plan to look for common ground in suggesting ways Kentucky can aggressively move forward in solving its problems.

K—I plan to kindle a spirit of historical curiosity about Kentucky, particularly regarding little known, but important contributors to our heritage.

Y—I plan to focus on the idea that yesterday is gone, and sure, we can learn a lot from it…but NOW and the future is where our effort to improve our quality of life belongs.
 
B—I plan to buy more Kentucky Proud products, particularly food and produce, from local merchants in Kentucky.
 
Y–I plan to place my yard more native-Kentucky plants this year. I’m happy to say I already have a Kentucky coffee tree and two tulip poplars growing on a one-acre plot. These selections hold the distinction of representing the Commonwealth’s last two state tree symbols.
 
H—I plan to continue to honor, through writing and speaking, those Kentuckians who risk their lives for our country in the American military service.

E—I plan to help educate children in classrooms around the state about the many positive role models that live amongst us in our communities. I’ll share excerpts from my book, Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes for Kids, as the main resource. Email me at sflairty2001@yahoo.com for more information.

A—I plan to talk to people who suggest workable answers to questions about how our state should address its most difficult problems.

R—I plan to reconnect personally with many of the amazing, often heroic Kentuckians I’ve profiled in the past. Can’t wait to be “re-inspired” by their life of service or the courageous way they’ve overcome serious obstacles.

T—I plan to take more day trips around our state this year simply to enjoy the scenery and the culture. After all, it’s not necessary that I travel only to interview someone for a book or article, is it?

* * *
           
To close, I’m wishing all my readers a happy and prosperous 2019. I look forward to sharing with you again on a weekly basis and demonstrating why we have reason to walk around with a “Kentucky Proud” look on our faces.

And, I’m always looking for ideas for the column and a place to speak about the state’s everyday heroes. Hoping to hear from you soon!

Steve Flairty is a teacher, public speaker and an author of six books: a biography of former Kentucky Afield host Tim Farmer and five in the Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes series, including a kids’ version. Steve’s “Kentucky’s Everyday Heroes #4,” was released in 2015. Steve is a senior correspondent for Kentucky Monthly, a weekly KyForward and NKyTribune columnist and a member of the Kentucky Humanities Council Speakers Bureau. Contact him at sflairty2001@yahoo.com or visit his Facebook page, “Kentucky in Common: Word Sketches in Tribute.” (Steve’s photo by Connie McDonald)                               

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