It may be time to remember the nobility of small things; actions that, if given proper perspective, are not that small.
The individual who is a responsible and loving parent, who diligently fulfills job responsibilities, and who doesn't shirk from making the community a better place, may not make the headlines but that person is truly, to use an overused expression, the backbone of our society.
These heroes are overlooked in an age of celebrity when flash and glibness seem to trump sacrifice and courage. They are not whiners nor do they believe in the mantra of the envious that one person's achievement means that someone else has lost. They fail and move on. They face challenges in their personal lives that few, if any, of their friends know of. Their patriotism is not jingoistic; indeed, it has far more depth than the superficial allegiance of those who regard this nation as merely one of the better addresses in the neighborhood. Most are sustained by religious beliefs that are sophisticated, uplifting, and far from mindless.
Not only are these worthy citizens ignored, they are mocked as automatons living empty, meaningless lives. Scan the novels in the average bookstore, which could easily establish a Dysfunctional Families section that would rival Mysteries and Science Fiction. Ponder how Hollywood routinely depicts suburbia as inhabited by boobs, hypocrites, and the desperate.
These people do not want to be on Oprah and singled out in a State of the Union address. They don't believe their small but noble actions merit an award.
But they do want - and deserve - simple respect.