by Curt Kovener
Saturday is the 4th of July, a celebration of the day over 230 years ago a document was signed declaring our independence from British rule. Many of us will be celebrating our nation’s birthday in a variety of ways. It is a time for being proud to be an American.
But what’s to celebrate? The depressed economy is moving to improve at a snail’s pace. Not something 21st century Americans accustomed to instant gratification like. And around here 1 in 10 are out of work. But doesn’t it seem to be a human frailty to pay more attention to the bad news and take the good for granted? We focus on the robber, forgetting there are a hundreds of honest people. An auto, train or airline accident? But how many arrive safely each day? We focus on the problems so much that we forget the positive aspects of our lives, our culture and our nation.
So on the cusp of the day we celebrate our freedoms, let’s focus on what’s right about our American life.
•We are a free nation. We are not a part of someone else’s domain. The U.S. is the leading nation in the world. But with leadership, on any level, comes responsibility.
•We elect our leaders; a choice not available in some societies. From the town council to the U.S. President, we have the right and privilege to take part in all levels of government by voting and serving. We have the responsibility of educating ourselves to know better was is going on.
•Our government provides services that many take for granted. Granted, the performance of government service is not perfect but so it is with human beings. Water systems, streets, bridges, police & fire protection, health services, defense, schools, financial assistance and medical care for our nation’s elderly: without government, all of these would be left up to one’s own ability to pay for what he could.
•The rule of law. Though crime is a problem, the vast majority of people are law abiding and we live in relative safety.
•We eat and live well. Despite some levels of poverty, the U.S. is the only country where obesity is a problem. Even many of those living in poverty in the U.S. would seem well by comparison with many other countries.
•We can travel anywhere in the U.S. without a passport and getting permission to do so. We can contact others across the land in seconds with modern telecommunications.
•In American we choose what newspapers and magazines we want to read; we choose what radio or television signal to receive. In many countries, only one newspaper is published, only one television station is aired: the one approved and operated by government.
•Most of us take pride in our armed services and those who served their country. But, as those who served can attest, armed forces are not perfect. But our armed services are the Peoples Armed Forces and we do not need to worry about some general seizing power in this country.
We are a society of whiners and complainers. but this Saturday, think on and celebrate what’s right about America.