It’s another patriotic American holiday this weekend, another chance to remember where we started as a nation and where we still have work to do. We’re far from a perfect nation, but I believe that we have not only a great foundation to work with, but great potential within our people; people with the ability to make the nation better and stronger than ever. A nation that encourages freedoms that make the world a better place for more people. I heard a comment in response to some of last weeks’ events that if we’re really a democracy people should have voted on the topic of same-sex marriage, and I do see their point. But what their comment really reminded me was that a democracy only works when people get involved. For too long people have sat on fences and not said anything either way, about many topics, not just same-sex marriage. It’s once decisions are made that people get mad and say they didn’t have a voice. But the time to have a voice isn’t when a decision is made, it’s before the decision is made, while facts are still being gathered and options considered.
We’re really busy demanding the nation do things for us, make changes we think are best and do all these things we want them to do without any support or money, and they won’t hear from us unless they screw up, so essentially we expect them to just “know” what we want them to do and do it as if they were infinitely and independently wealthy and psychic besides. Don’t get me wrong, it is important to speak up for what you think is wrong and get involved in politics and the leadership of the country, they need to hear from us, but it shouldn’t just be what they can do for us. We have to be willing to put in the effort like the first settlers did when they established our fine nation.
So this 4th of July my encouragement to you, after you’ve seen the fireworks and had the family and friends picnic is to live democracy. Get out there and make a difference. Support the Wounded Warriors, spend time in the National Parks that your taxes go to support, embrace democracy and sign up to be a voter, let your political candidate of choice know you support them, the list of things you can do is endless but the concept is simple: get involved.
“My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” John F. Kennedy