Happy Birthday, America! 2013
In these tumultuous and uncertain times with the media focused upon the pain and evil that we as humans do to each other in our bid to be or remain King of the Hill, we need to also consider the good that surrounds us on a daily basis and be thankful for the bounty that is ever before us.
We need to weep with those who weep, such as the families of the 19 fallen firefighters who lost their lives in the Yamell area wildfire in Prescott, Arizona. Men such as these who put their lives on the line every day risking all as they seek to save and protect the lives of their neighbors, in many cases total strangers. We weep with not only our own losses, such as our service men and women but for other nations and cultures ablaze with war and tragedy. And, as good stewards of this precious planet we call home, we mourn the death of flora and fauna caught up in our quest to have it all.
And, we are told to rejoice with those who rejoice. So, as we take delight in our families, partying playing hard this Fourth of July Weekend, let us not forget as we light up the skies over America with aerial displays of colorful grandeur or shaking the ground with percussive emulations of historic battles of our past and saturating the air around us with smoke, grit, and odor of our glee that we take the time to remember our heritage, regardless of our familial origins, and give thanks for this great, and oft battered and badgered nation that allows us to be so free with our celebrations both great and small.
I thank God for this country. I thank God for my family, friends, and circle of influence. Though my heart aches as most news reports our ugliness towards each other, my heart soars as I see the kindness of those around me. Most are unknown to me by name, but they are the smiles of warm souls at the gas station, the grocery store, on the streets where I walk as we meet and greet. This is America to me.
Just the other day my beloved wife, Cathie and I attended our first Hungarian Picnic held at St. Elijah Serbian American Hall in Merrillville, Indiana. My wife saw it in the newspaper and told me she missed her grandmother's cooking so we went. So many attended the food service line took over an hour for me to purchase our Hungarian goodies. All lovingly handmade by the ladies of the Hungarian American Citizens Club. I saw both the good and the bad in those attending, as a younger couple standing directly behind me groused about the long line and accused an elderly couple of line cutting. It took me a while to convince them that I had been keeping the couple's place having let them sit down because the elderly woman was suffering from arthritis and after being in line for over 30 minutes, she needed to sit down. The good news is that this incident, though ugly, did not dampen my enthusiasm or enjoyment of both the food and new found fellowship. God bless us, America, we are a fine melting pot of the many cultures of the world!
This post went longer than I originally planned, but, so be it.
Let me finish with this:
No matter how disheartening the news of our incompetence, greed, or uncaring attitude of our national, states, and local governments, we must remember that people are just people and as such will seek their own best interests whenever possible based upon the biased clarity of their funneled focus. This is not what or who we are celebrating. We are celebrating the birthday of our nation with all of its diversity, peculiarity, prejudices, pride, patriotism, and most importantly those kind and generous people who surround us daily filling us with the hope of a better day and a future worth striving toward.
Remember to focus on the good, forgive the bad and the ugly, overall we are a good people worthy of second and third chances to become the best we can be. Be kind to the unkind, lovely to the unlovely, this will confuse the dickens out of them. Most of all do not allow the pressures, the media, and the ugliness that pops up on occasion to change who your are. Stay strong and live long and prosper.
Happy Birthday, America... God bless us, every one!