I don’t know about you but I was dreading this Fourth of July holiday weekend, and not only because my dog and pretty much every dog hates fireworks.
At this point, each dog owner has figured out ways to comfort their pooches, whether it’s with love, food, drugs or a very thick blanket.
And when that doesn’t work, you just hold them and pray, even if you’re an atheist.
No, instead, it was the American culture wars I was dreading and all the talk about and around it. The endless rhetoric of left vs. right, patriotism vs. treason, all spewed through or at the lens of the pancake made-up person with the loudest bully pulpit in America – our current and very bloated POTUS.
Frankly, he and it has just given me a headache and caused me for the first time in my life to wish illness, death pestilence and/or a bad cause of piles on another human being.
And despite what it might seem like I truly don’t wish bad things on other people. Ever.
Not only is it not good karma, it’s simply toxic and immature to do so. To pollute your life with thoughts of destruction and suffering for another life is to deny yourself the pleasures of existing at all. Our time here is short and there’s loads of crap to deal with. SO much crap these days and SO much time to deal with it. Why waste precious moments on HIM or THAT?
Don’t take this to mean I’m not speaking out, not voting, not doing everything but handing my house over to Joe Biden in the next four months in the spirit of Independence Day. Or, that I am advising any of you to not to do all of the above.
It’s just too much to go on and on AND ON about this or it right about now.
That is because it’s not the SYMBOLS of America that make it great. It’s only the progressive actions of truly patriotic Americans that allow us to approach, or get anywhere near the vicinity of greatness.
Incidentally, the term progressive is not meant to be political here but to merely express the concept of being forward thinking i.e. regarding the future. The word is literally defined in our dictionaries as proceeding step by step to our greatness.
The way to honor our very American and admittedly very flawed Founding Fathers is not to symbolically clench and squeeze the flag or an eagle or any of our fellow citizens in deference until they break or are torn apart, much as we might enjoy doing so. It is instead to embrace the legacy of freedom and liberty and justice for all articulated by our 18th century leaders and try to actually make them happen – and grow it.
More simply put, the question to really ask on the Fourth of July, and every day, is how do we take what they gave us and do better? How do we run with those ideas and expand them into the 21st, 22nd and every other upcoming century in a way that meets the needs and the population of the moment?
As we look out through our windows and talk through our masks (Note: If we’re smart) this July think of one way to help make freedom, liberty or justice happen for one cause, one group or one person and take some small step to do so.
This can literally be ANYTHING – a spirited discussion, a cash contribution, a demonstration, a comment or even, perish the thought, a tweet (Note: Try not to rely too heavily on the latter for obvious reasons).
If all else fails, watch Hamilton on Disney Plus. It encapsulates the ideals and intent of what our framers started while pushing that rock just a little farther up the hill. Not to mention, it’s chock full of old, new and re-appropriated ideas alike.
Even if it’s not to your taste it will get you thinking, and isn’t THAT what this is all about?
If not, it should be.