This week is special in the sense that on Saturday, we will celebrate our nation’s independence and remember all that has happened for us to get to that point. It is a time that we can take to honor those who have fallen to protect our freedoms, a time to consider the beliefs and opinions we have because of those freedoms, and a time to think about what exactly being independent means and the implications that go along with it.
Merriam-Webster defines independence as “freedom from outside control or support” as well as “the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control.” It has been 239 years since we declared our independence from Great Britain, and about 232 years since our country gained political freedom with the ending of the American Revolutionary War. Much has happened during the interim, and much more will continue to happen that will shape the identity and history of our nation. Regardless of your beliefs and ideas, your principles and morals, and even your love and hate for certain things – we live in a country that rivals all others in many ways!
Am I using this post to bash other countries? No. I have a fond appreciation for other countries and the much longer, and in some cases bloodier and deeper, histories that constitute them. I spent time traveling to and living in other countries, immersing myself into foreign cultures, and understanding the societies of which I momentarily was a part. If you know me well, then you know that I advocate travel and tapping into the wealth of information and culture and history that forms the makeup of foreign nations. I advocate this because it is important to know where we come from, where others come from, and how the dynamic of our relations work; this is so we can better understand the overall scope of the world in which we live.
So to conclude, I hope that this Saturday you can put aside the issues in your life and think about the independence of our country and what it means to you. It is different for everyone. While cookouts and fireworks are great, it’s not the right way to think about our independence. Please take a moment and really think about it. Put down your hot dog or your beer and understand that you are able to eat that hot dog or drink that beer because of the sacrifice of others. It is something that we shouldn’t take for granted, and something that we should think about more than once every year in July.
Come Saturday, I encourage you to talk with your friends and family about what that day means to you and to them, and to take a moment to give each other a pat on the back, a hug, or even a kiss…because it is something that has true value in this country.
Next week, I’ll return to my normal posting style with regards to my writing projects. I hope this week and weekend prove to be a time of great thought and reflection for you, and that perhaps you may find peace, even for a short time, amidst the chaos of the world.
Until next time,