As we celebrate the Fourth of July this year, I look back at my past year and reflect. I hope I have gathered a greater understanding of freedom this year with a few of the activities I have been involved in and really want to remember those lessons into the next year.
As we all here in the good old USA start our grills and drag out our fireworks and red, white and blue t-shirts, I want to remember that the freedoms we enjoy as citizens have never been 'free'! The rights we enjoy as citizens were fought and paid for by our forefathers and mothers sacrifices. Sacrifices that, I'm sure, were giving freely but not without pain. Sacrifices that required giving to others, others they surely did not know or hope to know.
Looking across the nation today, I'm not struck by sacrifice and service but instead by selfishness and wanting to be served by a government who has allowed itself to grow to big to really be 'of service' to anyone. A government who only lives to grow larger on the backs of it's citizens. It is egged on by a public who wants it all, thinks they deserve it all, and wants to take it away from someone else.
Over the last year, I have had the privilege to help and serve numerous people. No, I didn't serve in the military, no I didn't go fight a war...the last time I checked middle-aged women were not allowed in either! He! he! I may not have done big things to ensure our freedom but I hope to think my little acts of service and sacrifice helped shape our future generations to look outside of themselves and past tomorrow.
I think our country is at a crossroads this summer of 2011. Do we continue to allow our leaders to herd us down a direction that is counter to what most of us Americans know is right or do we exercise our 'rights' as citizens and change the course of our destiny by not being afraid of standing up and saying 'enough!' I pray that we stand up and say 'enough' to our leaders.
Moving forward will require sacrifice and selfishness. It will require us to do things that are hard and are not necessarily 'fun'. It will require saying 'no' sometimes to those with their hands out and some of those hands will be our own! We are used to 'having it all and having it now'. It's time to be grown-ups. It's time to do the hard work and stop blaming everyone else for our problems. We are the grown-ups.....It's time we act responsibly and do the right thing for ourselves, our children and our world.....
We need to be the USA! We've never wanted to be anyone else....why stop now?