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Additional perspective on kindness
michelle beran
Michelle Beran

A couple of weeks ago, I came across a video on a Facebook post that really hit my heart. You have heard me talk a lot about kindness in the last year and the message and video from Brady Burks, a farmer from Lebanon, provided additional perspective.

With Brady’s permission, I am going to share his words from the post.

Middle America’s take on a Super Bowl Commercial. 

Recently there was a Super Bowl commercial filmed in our tiny town with a big name star. I understand the commercial brought with it animosity over a seemingly hypocritical message of “Unity.” I get that argument; I see why people would scoff at the commercial. But, instead of taking that commercial to heart, politically, I decided to focus on what really made me happy and that was the spotlight on rural America and our tiny town right here in the middle. 

However, a few weeks later the commercial was pulled because the star of the commercial made some poor choices. The commercial went from political talk, to now even more animosity over the star getting in trouble. Now the spotlight wasn’t on middle America at all. It seemed as though the fad was over. 

So, I decided Middle America should just make its own Super Bowl Commercial, with real people! Filming it just so happened to collide with winter weather seen only once in a generation ... making this project all that more special to me. 

You see, rural America is important. Not just when it’s convenient for a message. Not just when it makes you feel good to feel sorry for us working in the cold weather. (We knew what we signed up for.) We have a story worth telling, and are willing to hear your story even if we live totally different lifestyles. I am a firm believer if you don’t tell your story, someone else will. For what it's worth, this is just a snippet of “Our Story.”

As for the unity portion:

Unity starts with you. We can sit around all day and talk about who is the most unifying or we can be about unifying. 

Lastly, I will leave you with this:

I can do things you cannot

You can do things I cannot;

Together, we can do great things!

- Mother Teresa 

I think at the end of the day the above sums it up. It takes all kinds of kinds. Work hard and be nice. You might thank a farmer and rancher while you’re at it, but you might just thank an American while you’re at it because after all we are united! We the people.

Thanks, Brady for letting me share your eloquently written words that said what was on my heart this week. If you would like to check out “Middle America’s Commercial,” follow the link and give him a moment at

Keep learning. Keep showing grace and kindness!

Michelle Beran is the 4-H and Youth Development Agent for the Cottonwood District, Barton County office. For more information on this article or other 4-H Youth and Development related questions email Michelle at or call 620-793-1910.