Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitudes in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. ~ Viktor E. Frankl
Now more than ever.
On this July 4th we need to remember that our nation is more than one person, one term in office, and one period in our country’s history when we went a little nutty.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve done more shaking my head (smh in text talk) in the last five months than I have in the last five years. I’ve been stressed, anxious, mad, confused, and amazed in disbelief over and over again as the months have unfolded. I have cried at all that has or will be taken away from those in need whether it’s sustenance, education, or healthcare. I have mourned the loss to our environment and the impact that will have on future generations.
While I’ve made huge efforts to not bitch or complain, I’ve lost all tact or desire to be politically correct. No longer will I deny the craziness — and I mean crazy — that is taking place in Washington and the ripples throughout our states. I’ve even been disappointed in politicians of my own party who have been way too nice and politically correct instead of stepping forward and getting in the face of those who are breaking up families of immigrants, taking away healthy options for kids lunch … hell, taking away health options themselves! You know I could go on with this list. I hope my representatives aren’t being less forceful in order to protect their future electability.
The bottom line for me is, if we can stay out of war, we might just survive all the weirdness.
So, where is my focus on this 4th of July, this day of celebration and remembrances that have been fought so hard for over the generations?
Well, all craziness aside, there is SO much to be thankful for on this day honoring our freedom.
I vow to acknowledge daily that we still live in a free country, that our options are boundless compared to those of many other nations, and that we have a lot that can never be taken away from us.
Personally, the freedoms I am looking at for the celebration of our independence today are that I have been able to
- surround myself with smart and loving friends who catch me when I fall and who keep me from getting in my own way
- be bonkers and go overboard with my pet who delights me constantly
- work where I wanted to work, doing something I enjoyed
- speak my mind – even when I haven’t fully thought through my point of view
- watch and read whatever I want without limitation.
I am able to do and be all these things without someone saying I can’t.
NO ONE can take these freedoms from me.
What personal freedoms will you celebrate this holiday?
P.S. Taken from my own enhancement of what the holiday means to me this year, I offer you a recent article in The New Yorker by Philip Roth, I Have Fallen in Love with American Names, which added for me a real-life sweetness to the greater meaning of good on this holiday.
Hi, Antonia–a belated thanks for this July 4th blog. So many mixed emotions these days. I think we have to acknowledge them all and just keep putting one foot in front of the other, doing what we can from where we are. For the first time, I’m walking in the Pride Parade here this month, and getting there by bus! I vacillate between thinking “these don’t do any good” and needing to get out and do something. This is a nice mixture of message and fun, even though it’s way out of my comfort zone. Such is life these days. At any rate, thanks for your as-always-beautifully-written sentiments, and the attached article.
Thank you Christine. Please know that you walk for both of us.
I don’t care that it dates me to say, “Keep on, keeping on.” xo