Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Independence Day thoughts

As we come up on the 4th of July on Friday, I've been thinking about what the holiday means. To Mike and Jared, it means setting stuff on fire and watching it explode into pretty colors. Always pretty and entertaining and may have some deeper meaning in connection to our nation's independence but not what I'm writing about today. What does our independence really mean ?

It means

-We can worship who, what and where we want to. Our country is a mixture of all religions, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Wiccan, you name it we've probably got it and usually we get along pretty well.

-We can own guns (a personal favorite of my DH). For better or worse, you can get a gun pretty easily. It's also a constant source of conversation in our home about whether someone actually NEEDS an assault rifle to hunt deer v. the right that we all have to protect our property.

-We can speak out against the powers that be without fear of being jailed, tortured or killed. I was reading about the recent "elections" in Zimbabwe where people were being forced to the polls, harassed and if they didn't vote they would be in trouble. How wonderful it is to know that in November, we'll be able to vote for the leader of our country. If we don't want to vote, fine. If we vote, fine.

-Pretty much everyone has the right to vote. There's no more white men only type voting, so if you're a citizen you can vote. Sometimes we take this for granted but it's the way we can have some sort of say in the way our country is led.

-We can pretty much do whatever we want as long as we stay within the laws and don't hurt anybody. Sounds silly, but it's true. In some Middle Eastern countries, women can't drive, vote or be seen outside without a man.

That's just a short list. So, on Friday when we're all having a grand time grillin' and chillin', watching the fireworks and spending time with our friends and family, take a little time to think about what Independence Day actually means to you. Have a safe and happy weekend!



connie said...

Happy 4th!

Anonymous said...

About twenty years ago or so, I was in a long, long line outside of Socastee High School waiting to vote in a national election. My little girls were with me, and they became so impatient and restless that I actually considered going home without voting. Luckily, a friend was leaving the school and offered to take the children to her house to play with her daughters. Yippee! The line was still long, and I was probably there a couple of hours. Anyway, when I got inside of the school library and inched along with the crowed, I noticed a book on concentration camp survivors. I picked it up, glanced at the upsetting pictures, and decided that I would NEVER think of voting as a chore.