According to http://www.dictionary.com, independence is defined as “freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.” Though this is a word that most of us are familiar with, I still feel the need to post that definition on the eve of our Independence Day in the US. Because here in the US, and in most other countries that enjoy freedom, we very much take our independence for granted on a daily basis.
So here is my random list of things we take for granted:
1) While you are enjoying family and friends today as you celebrate Independence Day, others are serving our country and fighting for those very things we take for granted. Thank a soldier, a family member of a soldier, or a veteran today.
2) I guess this is the teacher in me coming out, but our society takes our ability to get an education for granted. While in other countries young girls are being kidnapped for trying to get educated and being shot in the head for trying to get educated (and then coming back and continuing to fight for education after that), our kids are waking up and whining because they “have” to go to school. You “get” to go to school. Ask other kids around the world what they would be willing to do for that opportunity.
3) You get to choose your religion and practice it freely. You even get to whine about those that don’t agree with you.
4) You get to plan your day. Sure, there are things that are built into our lives, but for the most part, you get to wake up and decide what you want to do for the day.
5) You get to participate in a form of government that you have a voice in. Sure, it doesn’t always go the way you want it, but you still have a voice. You even get to whine if you don’t exercise your right to have a voice. We also have a system of checks and balances in place that were just displayed this week. Our president and congress can pass something, the Supreme Court can shoot part of it down, and then our Commander in Chief even has the freedom to whine about it after that (here’s looking at you Hobby Lobby). That is freedom.
6) If we had a leader named Putin, we would be able to laugh like middle school kids every time we said his name. I don’t think that is the case in places that have leaders named Putin.
7) We can disagree with our leaders and we can voice it.
8) Our press can print what they want without government control. I usually don’t agree with our press, but at least it isn’t controlled by the government.
9) I can type this blog. And you can make fun of me for typing this blog.
10) We can shoot fireworks to celebrate and not think that a riot is breaking out every time one goes off.
10) We can come and go as we please.
I left several things off and I could turn this blog into a book but I am going to cut myself off now.
Feel free to comment. What other things do we take for granted?
Have a great and happy Independence Day and be thankful that you have the freedom to choose whether you want to celebrate it or not.