Chuck Norris
George Washington warned us in his Farewell Address about a time in America's future when we might be tempted to discard the pillars of civility: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them."

Let me give a great example of what Washington's words look like in action.

In February 2011, 11-year-old Jessie Rees was a junior Olympic swimmer for the Mission Viejo Nadadores, and she started getting strange headaches.

One month later, the blond, blue-eyed Southern California girl was diagnosed with two malignant tumors in her brainstem. The cancer was inoperable.

Despite the fact that she had a 1 percent chance to live 18 months, Jessie and her parents still decided to endure 30 rounds of radiation therapy at Children's Hospital of Orange County.

And then the unthinkable happened, at least for many of us adults.

One sunny spring day, when she was moved by the fact that she was able to leave the hospital as an outpatient, she asked her parents about the kids who were inpatients, "What can we do for them?"

Her dad, Erik, explained to Yahoo Sports just last week that it's a question that "changed the tapestry" of his life. "She's fighting a battle she can't win," Erik explained as he choked up, "and she just chose to help others."

Jessie's words began a movement that not only changed the Rees family forever but also affected tens of thousands of people all over the world.

She returned home that spring day and put tiny trinkets and toys from around the house into paper lunch bags. Her parents encouraged her that small jars probably would be a better option. And seeing as Jessie's middle name was Joy, they called them JoyJars. And they were delivered weekly to sick kids in the hospital.

The popularity of JoyJars exploded. Tens of thousands friended her on Facebook. Word spread about Jessie, and Olympians and NFL players started going to children's hospitals everywhere with JoyJars, which have become a symbol of strength and hope.


Chuck Norris

Chuck Norris is a columnist and impossible to kill.


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