Volume 2, Edition 9
A Word from the
First Lady of Louisiana
July is the month we celebrate the birthday of our country, July 4th. Happy birthday to the USA on your 244th birthday. Two hundred forty-four years seem like a lot of years, but in comparison to many other countries, we are still babies.
So, what are the 10 Oldest Countries in the World?
- Ethiopia -Many historians agree that Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in the world. While we know that human life has existed in Ethiopia for millions of years thanks to skeletal fragments uncovered, it’s generally agreed that Ethiopia developed as a country in 980 BC.
- Greece – Dating back to the Ancient Greek era, Greece’s country has remained firmly in the grasp of Grecians for at least 5,000-6,000 years.
- Portugal – While it is not as old as Greece or Ethiopia. Portugal has maintained its firm borders for almost a thousand years, making it one of the most identifiable, oldest countries in the world.
- Japan – Japan is also a contender as one of the oldest countries in the world. According to the Japanese legend, the first Japanese Emperor, who is said to be the descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu, ascended the throne in 660 BC.
- Egypt – As with Greece and the Ancient Greeks, modern-day Egypt is a different territory to that during the Ancient Egyptian era. The area has passed under the Egyptian hand for millennia, and Egyptian culture can date back as far as the 6th millennium BC.
- China – China is one of the world’s oldest and most refined civilizations, and its first dynasty, which was the Xia dynasty, is said to have lasted from the years 2070 BC–1600 BC.
- San Marino – The tiny country of San Marino (which is known to be one of the smallest countries in Europe) is also one of the oldest countries in the world. The country was officially created in 301 AD by its founder, who was escaping persecution for his Christian beliefs.
- Iran – The ancient country of Iran has certainly been around for a while, with historians dating it back to its founding circa 550 BC under the Achaemenid Empire.
- India – Indian subcontinent has been populated for around 5,000-6,000 years. Its peoples joined together to form a civilization in roughly 1500 BC when they created the Vedic Civilization, which laid out the foundations of Hinduism.
- France – While France isn’t as old as some in this list. It still dates back a long way. Historians loosely date France’s founding to the 5th century AD, when King Clovis’ ascended to the throne.
The USA’s 244 years is not old compared to the list above. The USA is such a young country, and we still have much to learn. I encourage you to google and search for the oldest and youngest countries in the world. You will learn so much about our world and our planet Earth that is so complex so vast, so deep, and filled with approximately 7.8 billion people.
Yet, COVID-19 has brought this big, wide world together in just a few short months. The virus has connected us in a way that is not so good. But this connection does make us pause and think. We are all connected in some way. Our actions, both good and bad, cause a reaction all over the world in some instances.
When we decide to respond in a positive or useful way to people and situations, we cause a reaction of positiveness. So on the flip, if we react in a negative or harmful way to people or situations, we create negativeness. It’s that simple. And those actions cause a reaction, a response, an effect. Stop and think. If we truly desire peace, love, and happiness in our community, our state, country, and the world, it is up to each of us. It’s up to us to work together, to find common ground, to compromise upon the things that will move us in a positive direction as a nation united.
This virus, COVID-19, is the enemy, our enemy. We need to band together and fight this enemy, much like our country has fought in past wars. When we read about World War I and World War II, we hear stories of our people working together and coming together with a common purpose, to defeat the enemy. We learn and understand about patriotism.
I recently read The True Patriot, A Pamphlet, by authors Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer. Below is an excerpt from that book written in the year 2007.
“… It is time to return to true patriotism. What does it mean today to be patriotic? Patriotism means pride. But true patriotism is earned pride: It means appreciating not only what is great about our country but what it takes to create and sustain greatness. It means being proud of how we treat each other, how we plan for the future, how we meet challenges and threats. True patriotism celebrates the hard choices needed to create more opportunity for more people, and the values that guide those choices.”
“True American patriotism means freedom, with responsibility.
Opportunity, with personal initiative. Purpose, through sacrifice and service.
Community above self. Contribution over consumption.
Stewardship, not exploitation. Leadership by example.
Pragmatism tied to principle—a fair shot for all.
These principles form the core of true patriotism. They are pro-progress, pro-truth, pro-trust, pro-fairness, pro-security, and pro-peace. They are, if anything, the distilled precepts of every great faith tradition in American life.”
This book inspired me to ponder the words and meanings of patriotism. It also encouraged me to think about my role as an American, as a citizen in this country and my duties as a citizen in the United States of America. Maybe it sounds sappy, but we are called to be better citizens and to do better. To love our country by making life better for those around us and those who come behind us, our children, and the future. Leave it better than you found it, right?
We should be the ones to show our children how to treat others, how to treat our environment, how to respond with compassion to others, our neighbors, love of neighbor. Hate begets hate, and love begets love. So, what kind of energy do you generate? What do you stand up for?
I know what I am for: I am for love of God, love of others, and love of country.
Happy July, everyone! I pray you stay safe, stay healthy, stay well, and mask up.
MASK UP, LOUISIANA!
My mask protects You. Your mask protects Me.
On July 11, Gov. John Bel Edwards announced a statewide mask mandate for anyone over eight years old. Masks are strongly recommended for children ages 2 to 7.
The mandate allows for the following exceptions:
- Anyone who has a medical condition that prevents the wearing of a face covering
- Anyone who is consuming a drink or food
- Anyone who is trying to communicate with a person who is hearing impaired
- Anyone who is giving a speech for broadcast or to an audience
- Anyone temporarily removing his or her face covering for identification purposes
- Anyone who is a resident of a parish without a high COVID incidence that has opted out of the masking mandate
Wearing a mask while out in public is a simple gesture that shows we care for our neighbors. My mask protects you, your mask protects me, and together, we can work together to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
LOUISIANA FIRST FOUNDATION
Yes Mam, No Mam, Thank you Mam = Teach MAM!
CHRISTMAS IN JULY
It’s Christmas in July at the Governor’s Mansion Preservation Foundation! Buy any ornament and get 10% off your total purchase in July. Your discount will be automatic at checkout. The 2020 ornament is in stock now. Get ahead of your Christmas shopping! Click the link below and get yours now!
For information or questions about store items, contact Sandy McClelland, Executive Director of the Mansion Foundation at 337-578-4063
Women’s Health Blog
by Tracy L. Reed, PhD., LPC.
Summer is a time for individuals, families, and friends to spend together living life to the fullest! Usually, in July, I’d be enjoying a celebration of Black culture and excellence at the Essence Music Festival weekend in New Orleans. The people, the music, the food, the vibration in the city are always electric with heritage and pride! What a time to be ALIVE! Unfortunately, July 2020 has arrived with a very different vibe. Instead of the sparkling days and sizzlin’ nights of summer we love, the COVID-19 global pandemic has drastically impacted our way of life and brought travel and event plans for the season to a screeching halt. Truly unbelievable!
PEOPLE OF LOUISIANA Making a Difference
Louisiana Art Field Survey
In partnership with our state’s nine regional arts councils, the Louisiana Division of the Arts conducted the Louisiana Art Field survey through May 2020 of the initial impact of COVID-19 on our arts community. Following is a brief summary of those results.
2019 Louisiana State Teacher of the Year
A Nod to Our Newest Recruits:
Advice for Louisiana’s New Teachers
“What do you remember most about your first year teaching?”
Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs
COVID-19 has affected all Louisianans, and the veterans at the state’s five veterans’ homes are no exception. These heroic men and women are missing interaction with family and friends as visitation remains closed for their safety. They say something good comes from every situation, and in this case, it’s Project LOVE.
Lindsey C. Benoit
Owner, About Face of New Orleans
Lindsey Benoit, franchise owner, lead makeup artist, and lash extensionist at About Face of New Orleans, came up with the idea of franchising the makeup and skincare boutique About Face of Mandeville, after increasing medical issues caused her to rethink her career in education.
CHEF OF THE MONTH
CHEF ERIC COOK
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted
Hungry for some Louisiana Adventure?
Did you catch Louisiana’s own Chef Eric Cook on season 2 of Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted? Chef Eric proudly exhibits Louisiana’s abundant natural resources by serving up a bold adventure in Ramsay’s global culinary expedition series. In this season, Ramsay Turns Up the Heat and Feasts His Way Through Tasmania, South Africa, Indonesia, Louisiana, Norway, India and Guyana.
Something To Discern
The First dogs are eagerly
awaiting the garden’s bounty.
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Delery has lived there all of her life except during undergraduate school and a brief stint in Seattle, WA. She is a mother to four boys, ranging in ages from 21 to 16, and they are the heart and soul of her life.
After graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications, she went on to receive a Masters in Non-Profit Management from Louisiana State University. Her volunteer work has mostly evolved from issues that have affected her personally. Actively engaged in disability rights advocacy, Delery has testified numerous times in the Louisiana Legislature regarding issues that affect persons with developmental disabilities. She served as the chair of the Louisiana Developmental Disabilities Council, worked for seven years directing regional advocacy efforts and is a graduate of Louisiana’s Partners In Policymaking.