Not long after our nation suffered one of its worst punches to the gut on 9/11, a friend sent me a list of “things we need now.” Not since the assassination of JFK almost four decades earlier had our nation been quite as shell-shocked by a catastrophe that showed up out of nowhere.

Today we find ourselves facing another unwelcomed bolt out of the blue — COVID-19. What was once wide open is now closed. What was once taken for granted is now unavailable. What was once a seemingly carefree lifestyle that included travel and leisure and cruises and plane rides has almost become a thing of the past.

So, I began to think how we might need some things now much like some of the ones suggested to me after the September 11 terrorist attacks. So, here are my contributions for what we need now more than ever:

• More singing and more songs to sing;

• More thinking of others first;

• More faith in one another;

• More reading books that inspire us;

• More walks around the neighborhood and less sprints to the refrigerator;

• More living in the moment;

• More kids learning — even when it’s from home;

• More magical, uplifting and thoughtful stories to share;

• More dads preparing healthy meals (OK, mom’s too);

• More spring flowers — inside the house and out;

• More hand-written letters of love and appreciation;

• More children learning and singing new songs;

• More dogs to pet and more cats to chase;

• More stopping and staring at the moon and the stars;

• More eyes filled with sweet and joyful tears;

• More telecommunications with distant family members — especially grandparents like me;

• More taking notice of animal-shaped clouds;

• More bedtime stories;

• More riding bicycles and looking more closely at things along the way;

• More focus on what really matters;

• More hope and less fear;

• More smiles and more kindness;

• More conversations about life, love and living;

• More lives filled with love;

And please add to this list — now more than ever.

Mike Fitsko is a retired principal and longtime columnist from New Braunfels.

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