Our freedom was born of sacrifice. From the sacrifice of those who first traveled to our shores to escape persecution and build a better life, to all of those brave men and women who first fought for our collective Independence as a Nation, to those who continue to sacrifice in protection of our precious freedom, the long line of dedication to a vision of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” remains unbroken. The United States of America is still a shining beacon of hope in a troubled world.
July 4th is a day to joyously celebrate Independence, yes, but the fundamental celebration is really about Freedom. It is my fervent hope that this grand idea — The American Experiment — is not lost in the polarized and often vitriolic rhetoric that fills the air waves, commercial media and social media channels. The “restlessness” I noted five years ago today has seemingly reached a fever pitch. It remains my belief that most Americans think and live their lives somewhere closer to the “Center”, if there is such a thing. Should we be labeled “Right”, “Left”, “Center”, or simply American?
If we choose to approach our interactions with a willingness to listen, in an earnest attempt to understand, we’ll often find that that we have more in common with others than we first thought. The expression of Tolerance is fundamental to the ideal of Freedom. We have much more to gain as a Nation by working together for the greater good, than by finding ways to tear the fabric that holds us together.
I’m not under the illusion that these thoughts even represent a detectable ‘ping’ in the digital universe, much less that they will change the course of human events for the better. But I do believe that each and every one of us has the opportunity — and the obligation — to make a difference where we are each and every day. Our Freedom depends upon it.