photo courtesy of Nicolas Tissot on unsplash

Away from home, family and friends on Independence Day, our celebration was understated.

Pretty much nonexistent.

Still a little under the weather, laying low seemed the best course. For us and for those poor people we’d have blessed with our germs.

It gave me a chance to think about the remarkable history of why we celebrate July 4.

Freedom.

People everywhere long for it. Those who have it don’t often think about it till they lose it.

Here are a dozen reasons why we as a country need to aspire to the truth of our freedom.

I–Individuals. We’re a country made up of unique people, all different, with talents that can contribute to the national good.

N–National identity. One nation, fifty states, differences united by the same need for respect, a chance to be heard and treat others with dignity.

D–Diversity. We are a diverse people with about 300 languages and dialects representing countless cultural differences and uniquenesses. A true melting pot like no other place in the world.

E–Expectations. The continued desire that we as a people can make this democracy work. Hope.

P–Perseverance. We have space to persevere through the hard conversations and difficult challenges. Quitting isn’t in our national DNA.

photo courtesy of Warren Wong on unsplash

E–Endure. We’ve experienced national tragedy, pain and grief, as well as individual tragedy. We need to pull together to be strong. To remind each other we’re not alone.

N–National pride. We’ve all been given the gift of living in a nation based on freedom. We need to celebrate fundamentally who we are, who we were founded to be.

D–Divine grace. We’ve been blessed by God with a country which has welcomed the tired, poor and homeless for centuries.

E–Enrich. Our differences bring richness to our national culture, dreams and hopes. Different perspectives give us increased capacity to attempt the new and bold.

N–Navigate. We know we won’t agree. But we can be prepared to navigate our differences for the good of all involved. For “we the people”.

C–Create. We’ve the resources from the wealth of our different experiences to create new ways for us to grow and prosper as a nation.

E–Embrace. This is the gift we as Americans can give each other as people living under the same national roof.

America is a diamond in the rough. Incredible potential. Often limited by our bickering and differences.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could become a nation where we experienced true freedom, respect and dignity? Where our uniquenesses were celebrated instead of vilified?

If we focus on each other as indiduals and see faces of neighbors instead of enemies, we might move toward such an end.

May God bless America. We all need Him.

May we turn to Him for the courage to be part of the solution.

photo courtesy of Marco Krenn on unsplash

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