It’s as American as apple pie, baseball or toothpaste with wee little breath strips inside. People in this country are raised with the notion that we are not pulling our weight unless nearly every second of our days are spent toiling away at some task or another, while three more are waiting in the wings. We panic. We rush. We achieve, or we fail. It’s all rather black and white.
On the positive side, this often leads to great innovations and an economy that is incredibly stable, when one considers the sheer amount of dollars being transferred about in this nation. On the negative side, we often take for granted those things around us that are so special and unique.
All that being said, Independence Day has caused me to pause and contemplate all the freedoms in this nation that we get to enjoy on a day-to-day basis.
First and foremost, I am grateful for our right to free speech. It might sound simple but, in many nations, saying something perceived as unpopular with leadership can lead to decapitation or imprisonment. Not here, pal. I can proudly stand up and say that I think Sussex County Council has been mortgaging the future way of life for this community in return for a few quick dollars today, or that Bob Bertram looks fantastic in leather hot pants and a tube top, and fear no repercussions whatsoever.
Well, maybe a few for that last one. We’ll see what happens when Bob reads this.
I’m also incredibly thankful for the right to bear arms in this nation. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been walking around my neighborhood and Queen Elizabeth and a few of her thugs showed up to strip me of my right as an American. If I didn’t have that trusty Glock by my side ...
But I digress.
I am also appreciative of the fact that the American government can not establish one set religion for all Americans to follow. We allow all faiths to practice their beliefs without repercussions, and never try to push one religion onto people who might follow a different path. It’s simple. Be Christian, or move to another nation. That’s a freedom — the freedom to fall in line or get out of here.
Just like our forefathers had in mind.
I’m thankful that our nation affords us the right to do what we see fit with our homes and the land they occupy. It is our own little slice of Americana, and our leaders can not tell us what to do with them. Now, our homeowners associations may not agree, but that’s for another column, at another time.
I’m thankful for the men and women in our armed forces. Don’t bother waiting for the punch line here. I’m grateful that they are willing to put in the work to keep us safe while I’m sitting at home upset with a commercial break coming up during a stressful moment in “24.”
I’m grateful to live in a nation where a person can achieve great heights despite humble beginnings. There is no caste system that precludes someone from a lower socio-economic level from becoming President of the United States or CEO of a Fortune 500 company. On the flip side, I’m extremely thankful to live in a country where a Paris Hilton can go to jail.
I’m thankful that I don’t live in Antarctica.
I am forever proud to live in a nation that recognizes the petition. It is the perfect example of a grassroots campaign where the people speak their minds with a little organization and a bunch of signatures. Currently, my name is on petitions to stop the government from putting an end to online poker, to preserve some open space in Killarney, Ireland, and to lock up all the raccoons in Sussex County and send them to a remote island off the shores of Tripoli.
I’m grateful to live and work in a nation that recognizes the need for a free press. Yes, the media takes that to the extreme sometimes, and I get just as angered as the rest of you, but it is extremely vital that the press has access to information that impacts a community. It is important that people know what decisions are being made on any level of government, and crucial that people can read about what crimes are happening in their neighborhoods. No, I don’t believe we should be printing or airing information that is detrimental to national security or is used deliberately to sabotage someone’s character. But I do believe in informing the public.
Even if it is just to warn people about Bob’s dinner attire.