altOur family enjoys the Rodeo of the Ozarks in Springdale, Ark., every summer.

This past July, we had the pleasure of taking our little mutton buster back for “finals night.” The best part was having my niece and parents come down from Missouri to watch him. He had an excellent ride on his sheep. He placed second overall and received the biggest trophy any of us had ever seen. We were very proud.

One of my favorite parts of the rodeo is the pomp and circumstance of the grand entry and national anthem. I cannot think of any other sporting event I’ve ever attended where our nation’s military and flag are so aptly honored. There is something incredibly patriotic about the American flag displayed by a cowboy or cowgirl on the back of a beautiful running horse inside a stadium full of cheering patriots. It gets me choked up. Every. Single. Time. I was so excited to share it with my retired army parents. It was awesome.

As I scrolled through my social media this week, my newsfeed was full of opinion posts about a sporting company that had made the decision to feature a controversial professional ball player in its newest ad campaign. Frankly, all the protesting and boycotting just wears me out. Does it make me angry when someone chooses to kneel during the national anthem or disrespect the American flag? You bet. But it’s none of my business. It makes me think of the serenity prayer – God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

I’m finished allowing the disappointing actions of other people, companies and countries get to me. The things we can control? Proudly display our American flags at our homes and businesses. Pay for the meal of a group of law enforcement officers when we are out at a local restaurant. Stop a soldier and publicly thank them for their service to our nation’s military. Encourage our children to do that too. Say the pledge of allegiance like our life depends on it. Participate in a farmer appreciation event – we cannot function daily without the work these people do to keep us fed and safe every single day. Teach the next generation what it means to be a patriot.

Our two Girl Scouts recently had the privilege of setting up flags at a local Military Order of the Purple Heart ceremony. Wow! Watching this young generation interact with aging veterans was amazing. I was a proud mother on that day.

I’m proud of our country and I hope like crazy we are raising four more patriots in our household. As we approach Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11, I think we can flood social media with patriotic acts of kindness and appreciation. I’ve never found a more America-loving community than farmers. Do you know somebody who can’t get excited about the U.S.A? Invite them to a rodeo grand entry to feel the energy of a hooping, hollering group of proud Americans, neighbor.

Jody Harris is a freelance communications specialist, gardener, ranch wife and mother of four. She and her family raise Angus beef cattle and other critters on their northwest Arkansas ranch. She is a graduate of Missouri State University. To contact Jody, go to ozarksfn.com and click on ‘Contact Us.’

Jody HarrisEditorial / OpinionsArkansas,Jody Harris,Patriotism,Rodeo of the Ozarks,SpringdaleOur family enjoys the Rodeo of the Ozarks in Springdale, Ark., every summer. This past July, we had the pleasure of taking our little mutton buster back for “finals night.” The best part was having my niece and parents come down from Missouri to watch him. He had an excellent...The Ozarks' most read farm newspaper, reaching more than 58,000 readers in Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma