I thought I'd take a few minutes to express my thoughts regarding what Independence Day means to me in 2006. Despite the fact that I've been out of work for far too long and the prospects for a good job look bleak, this is still the Land of Opportunity and it is that fact that produces much of my ongoing optimism. Despite the fact that the divide between the haves and have-nots continues to grow, we are all in the category of haves compared to most of the rest of the world.
This is the country of open and free debate, where you don't have to look over your shoulder when expressing your views; where the freedom to express your views and disagree openly with the policies of your government has changed little in over 200 years. This is a country where having a far left and a far right truly produces a working, successful center; and it is this open and ongoing tug of war that makes this country continue to grow and excel.
I realize we have Memorial Day, but we should always remember on Independence Day the sacrifices of those in the past and ongoing that have made and continue to make us free and independent.
On this Independence Day though I think we should also resolve as a country and a people to temper our arrogance and that big chip on our shoulder. We are a better country when we see our flaws and are willing to consider how we are truly viewed by other countries. Being the best and strongest is a great thing; but if we are never willing to see the chinks in our armour, then our chinks can grow and we cannot continue to grow as a nation. That also is good advice for us as individuals. We need to recognize that the biggest strength this country has is its diversity of its people and its diversity of ideas and ideals.Let us have a safe and happy but reflective Independence Day...reflect on what has made this country great but resolve to not sit on our laurels. There is plenty of room for improvement. Those who do not grow will stagnate and eventually weaken and perhaps die.
So let's be vigilent and do our part, each and every one of us, to see to it that the sacrifices of so many is never wasted.
I would encourage anyone who reads this blog to leave a comment and better yet to backlink to it and write your own thoughts on what this Independence Day means to you...almost like a blogger chain letter. Remember, whoever breaks the chain will have 10 years of bad luck or something dumb like that. And please don't blow your hand off playing with fireworks!