July 4

It’s July 4, 2013. This is one of my favorite holidays. I had breakfast at a local diner and smiled as each kid draped in red, white & blue walked by. Someday, pictures of today will once again bring smiles as a family recalls todays celebrations.

I’m looking for my own red, white & blue t-shirt to wear with jeans as I will be riding my Harley up to a local car show being held in the town park. They don’t have a “class” for motorcycles, but it’s a way of starting conversations with strangers…and someday one of those strangers could become a friend.

I’m hopeful that once there, I can do a quick dash into a ladies room & change into a sundress or shorts. I love the bike, but it’s too hot to sit around all day in jeans & boots.

All this really leads up to the fireworks. I never tire of them, and have only missed them once in my life when I was living in Canada. I’ll have to write about that story some time…it’s a good one. Today, I want to be brief so I can get to the festivities.

The residents of the town I’m living in have been exploding fireworks all week…day and night. I guess it’s one of those rare places that still let’s you blow things up. Hopefully no one will get hurt and no one’s house will catch fire. A little home safety should take care of most of that.

What all this is about is celebrating the independence of our nation. Those of us that find ourselves a bit patriotic can be overcome by emotion with the festivities. I’m one of those folks. Not long ago, there was a video meme going around from the TV show “Newsroom”. In it, the character blasted a young woman for calling the US “The Best Country in the World.” He went on to cite all the reasons we are “not” the best country in the world any longer.

It angered me on a gut level, but I couldn’t put to words what bothered me so. But as I type this morning, it comes back to mind.

You see, I’ve lived in other countries: Thailand as a child and Canada as an adult. Living someplace else taught me what a great country this is…even with it’s faults.

When someone has a great job, you do not cite the things wrong with the job to prove your case that the assessment is incorrect. When someone has a great marriage, you do not cite the things wrong with their marriage to prove otherwise. Likewise, we do not cite all the things wrong in the US to counter someone who already believes this is a great country. Like the person with a great job or a great marriage, he or she is the one that decides the greatness. As such, each one of us decides the greatness of our country.

The US is a living dynamic thing. That means it has its good points and its bad. How long would the lists be of “good” things vs. “bad” things? Our own individual value systems will translate those lists anyway and decide in the end its greatness.

I for one believe that the greatness of the US is as much what it has already accomplished as what it still can accomplish. I believe in all the possibilities.

Happy 4th everyone. Enjoy the day.

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