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"Writing To A Third Grader" - - by Rev. Weldon Bares

I have an interesting book in my library that is entitled, “Reagan: A Life in Letters.” The book is a collection of letters that Ronald Reagan wrote over 70 years, as a young boy, a movie star, governor of California, president and elder statesman.

One of the surprising things to me is that President Reagan had a pen pal by the name of Rudolph Hines. Rudolph was a young kid from the inner city of Washington, D.C. He and Reagan began corresponding in 1984, when Rudolph was in third grade. Reagan wrote the boy about once a month. Hines came to visit the president in the White House several times. The president and First Lady even had dinner at his home, in the inner city of Washington. Rudolph’s mother observed that the Reagans did everything possible to make them feel at ease.

The co-editor of the book, Kirion Sinner, made this statement, “In my view, that relationship speaks to Reagan’s character in a way that maybe no other body of letters in the book does.”

I really like this little footnote in American history. I am not quite sure why. Maybe because it humanizes somebody like President Reagan. Maybe because it reminds me of the importance of being kind.

The English writer Samuel Johnson wrote, “The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.” The Apostle Paul wrote, “Be kind and tenderhearted to one another.” (Ephesians 4:32)

May God remind us this day of the importance of being genuinely kind to those around us.

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