Hey Everyone!! :-)
Happy Fourth Of July!!! :-) And to all of my fellow Americans, Happy Independence Day!! :-) This is a day we traditionally use to kick back, relax, barbecue, and enjoy some fun in the sun. But with all of the recent events, I thought it would be a good time to reflect on all of the things that make me grateful I live in the time and place that I do. America has, from the beginning, been intended as a bastion of freedom. It is a country founded on the principles of liberty and self-determination. The preamble to our Declaration of Independence explicitly states that we all, every one of us, have the right to pursue happiness in our own ways. The very word 'independence' is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "freedom from outside control." So what does this mean?
I know you all want to get back to your fireworks (;-) ), but I wanted to share something I hope you'll think about. I am so grateful that I live in a time and place where, no matter who we are or what we believe, we are free to say what we want. We can embrace each other, even as we vehemently disagree, and not only accept our differences, but celebrate them. America is often referred to as a melting pot, and to an extent it is, but as any cook knows, every time you add an ingredient to a dish, you change it's overall composition. Uniformity isn't what makes the United States great; tolerance, acceptance, and a willingness to learn and understand are. Just ask a geneticist, variation is where strength lies. A population without variation is a dying population. So rejoice in the fact that we are all different, and that we all have the right to display that difference proudly. After all, isn't that what freedom means? Now go have a fun and safe fourth!! :-)