Happy 4th of July
Traditionally, Independence Day has been a time when people gather with family and friends to celebrate. It’s a holiday similar to Thanksgiving, but with a political and patriotic theme. Appreciation is shown for those who have fought for the ongoing independence of the country. People reflect on how grateful they are for the freedoms they have.
For those celebrating today, I hope you have a great day.
For those reflecting on the meaning of this day, feel free to read on.
How We Use Our Freedoms
As individuals or as a country, our freedoms come with responsibilities and obligations.
This principle is conveyed in the following quotes:
- “Instead of thinking that I am born with rights, I choose to think that I was born with obligations to serve past, present, and future generations, and the planet herself.” ~ Cherokee elder, Stan Rushworth. [More]
- “…we are held responsible for what we have. If we have been blessed with talents, wealth, knowledge, time, and the like, it is expected that we benefit others.” ~ Casey Duhart essay on Luke 12:48 [Source]
Political holidays like Independence Day offer an opportunity to reflect with appreciation on the freedoms we have, and consider how well we are using those freedoms to make the world a better place.
The Good Country Index is a helpful tool for reflecting on a country’s success and how it is measured. It’s a meaningful ‘report card’ to periodically review. [View]
We become more honest with our own self-assessment when we consider specific goals for society. The UN Sustainable Development Goals are a good guideline for progress and planning. [View]
A practical way to observe and celebrate Independence Day is to consider how to give of one’s time, money, and resources to help their country and the world be better. Donate financially to organizations that advance freedom, such as independent journalism and education. Look for ways to help strengthen the Columns of Democracy.
Unusual Context for Fourth of July 2022
This year the Fourth of July blends with some other significant events in our country’s history.
In recent weeks, our legislators have been investigating the insurgency of 6 Jan 2021, when an armed group attacked the Capitol. This investigation brings attention to the divisions in the country.
A separate but related event is the decision of the Supreme Court on 24 Jun 2022 whereby women no longer have certain federally protected rights that had been in place for about 50 years. This creates a big rift in the country between states that want to uphold the established law and those who do not. The fallout from the decision is still settling and has many ramifications. [More]
During his time in power, the leader of the insurgency group had installed justices who would generally be loyal to the insurgency group and their views. His name and image continue to be used by loyalists who still see him as their leader. So, when the Supreme Court ruling was announced, there was much celebration of what was considered to be a political victory and proof that their leader still has power, influence, and was still delivering on political promises.
Due to this context and recent events, the usual unity and enthusiasm of Independence Day is slightly muted.
[Photo: The picture featured is a sunrise photo from my morning walk on 4 Jul 2022.]