Okay, I’m on a bit of time crunch this week to make my self-inflicted deadline (my fault). So I am going to keep this post simple and to the point: My thoughts on the 4th of July.
I know it’s the 5th of July, so this post is already a bit late, but seeing as it is still the season of summer and celebrating patriotism, I still think it’s appropriate. I actually had a lot of fun this year–since I am staying with my siblings over the summer holiday, I spent both the 3rd and the 4th celebrating with a group of my sibling’s friends, watching fireworks from a chair nestled near a fire pit, roasting–or rather, burning–marshmallows and making s’mores. Yum. But still, I got to thinking, why do we, as a country, celebrate the 4th of July the way we do? Making colorful explosions in the sky and going deaf, one crackling firework at a time? Clearly, there is a LOT of nationalism running through the veins of Americans, even those who gripe and complain about our “corrupt” politicians and “socialist” or “capitalist” views as a country. I mean, I’m not criticizing those people, I’m one of them–I have plenty of frustrations with the way this country is run (not that I feel I have any answers to those frustrations). I am always just in awe at how we, as Americans, can stomp our feet and complain loudly about our country and the way we live, and at the same time wear stars-and-stripes t-shirts and go pyro-for-a-day celebrating our freedom, and the institution of liberty which we as Americans have so firmly been nurtured to believe in. I love America. I love freedom. I don’t think even our freedom in America is perfect. I’m not sure if it can be, with so many people and a government to keep the peace and safety of the masses. (I’m not sure if that’s really what our government does, anyways). But even when I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, even when I am one of those people who cheers and happily exclaims, “Happy 4th of July!” it still boggles my mind that we celebrate so readily our freedom, despite our own hypocrisy and faults.
Yet, at the same time, I think that’s okay. It’s okay to be a bit hypocritical; everyone is. It’s just a way of life. There will never be any black and white; only gray areas that bleed into other gray areas. I think we should always strive for changing, for fixing and perfecting, but we should never get angry at not being perfect, not living in a perfect world, or a perfect country. And I think we should always celebrate our freedom and our homeland, but we should also be willing to embrace others’ homelands, as well.
So there you have it, short, simple, and just some thoughts all jumbled around in there. Happy (belated) Independence day, everyone. Remember where you came from, give thanks for your freedoms.