Thankful To Be an American

Happy 4th of July. In our world of time and space, wishes before or after are in bounds. Timeliness is usually a good thing until it becomes drudgery. Please honor this emancipating freedom every moment of your life.

On US holidays I wear the colors. Dressed in my red shirt and flag-vest, someone mentioned that I must"be a proud American." My reply, “I am a thankful American”.

I am humbled to be a born-in-America-white-privilege-woman with unlimited opportunities. I am saddened by the continued unrest on many fronts. Previous events in our time/space continuum meant to correct errors are being revealed as illusions.

Through marvels of the internet, my incomplete education is becoming competent. I am learning such things as “Why Christopher Columbus wasn't the hero we studied about in school.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/12/us/christopher-columbus-slavery-disease-trnd/index.html

It's not that Columbus was not a man with skills, talents and value, it’s just that he didn’t do what he is credited. He was not the first to discover the Americas. Not only were natural born citizens living here, but others had been embarking on these shores centuries before 1492. With history’s error being corrected, statutes of Columbus are being torn down and replaced with figures of indigenous people. Acknowledging and respecting all people as heroes.

And the needed push back continues.

Although multitudes have risked oceanic peril, arriving penniless and with a dream of making good, far too many were captured, kid-napped and forced. It is a sad history upon which the US is built and continues; from pre-Civil War slaves to sex trafficking slaves. Same immorality and devaluing of person hood for selfish gain.

Motivational speaker Krish Dhanam, born in India, tells of his families struggle to come to the US to live the American dream. He notes his deep disappointment in complaining ungrateful Americans. I may want to dismiss these assessments despite an inner conviction of reality.

July 4th is a grand celebration of our freedom. Unfortunately, freedom has the potential for harm as well as intended good. Perhaps the blessings of America have rendered many of us with a spirit of entitlement.

Freedom without moral living turns to debauchery. Freedom of speech has led to profane language in music, movies, TV programs and literature. Freedom of expression has led to vulgar displays in the media and the arts. Freedom to bear arms has given leeway to school massacres and drive-by-shootings. Freedom of independence has led to littered highways, “me attitudes”, wasting of natural resources and lack of community.

Freedom is not the liberty to do what one wants, but the freedom to do the right thing. Right and wrong, good and evil are moral facts. Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl recommended a Statue of Responsibility be erected on the west coast to balance the Statue of Liberty on the east coast. We can have no true liberty without being responsible for our choices.

I find that the more gently responsible I am, the greater my freedom. The more disciplined I am, the more numerous my options. The more respectful I am of all others, the deeper the depth of my happiness. Let us live interdependently so future generations will judge our everyday deeds as honorable and respectful, for the good of the whole.

For a healthy pride to be restored, may each of us individually embrace truth, even when the revelation is ugly. And the truth is, on some level, each of us has varying degrees and shades of good and evil. Except for the grace of loving kindness.