July Fourth - A Complicated Time in a Complicated Place

Happy Independence Day to all in the States!

Today is a day that brings fireworks, celebrations, good food, and continuing political discourse in our country. If you are someone who lives in a place that is not the United States, there is one thing I want you to know.
Not everyone who lives in the United States feels the same way about anything, and there are lots of us who feel that our current government is misguided, ridiculous, and just plain wrong about many things.
I do not celebrate much on the Fourth. I have never enjoyed fireworks (the reason behind my reaction was FINALLY explained to me a couple of years ago), so most of what people do on this day is out of my comfort zone. I will comfort the cat when the fireworks start. They are illegal within city limits, but that doesn't really dissuade people from shooting them off all day. I'm going to make spaghetti today instead of barbecuing anything - I don't like the heat and humidity going on outside.

I do like remembering the reasons why we fought for independence to begin with, though. 

I revel in the idea that there were a group of dedicated people who wanted to make decisions without the oversight of a monarch. They valued the ideas of self-governance and the ability of people to make their own choices. They chose to risk it all for this country.

Now, these guys were not perfect. They did not recognize the fact that men from different cultures had brains, and women? Forget it! They were the product of their ideas and cultures just like I am the product of my own.

I feel that this country is struggling again. We are no longer fighting for independence from another country, but we are fighting with each other. There are schisms that are appearing every place you look, and these schisms are keeping us from doing what we have always tried to do as a nation - be a place where people can disagree and work towards compromise.

My hope for my country on this 242nd anniversary of its birth is for intelligent, considered, and forward-looking discourse about the issues that are in front of us.

Happy Independence Day. 


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