“Who’s that man who thinks
He can decide, whose dreams will live
And whose shall be pushed aside” ~Bruce Springsteen
Today is Independence Day. A day that is always filled with barbecues, ball games, fireworks and American Flags galore. It’s a celebration of our country’s freedoms and the dream as stated by our founding fathers in the very document this day celebrates: The Declaration of Independence.
This 4th of July, my attitude towards the day has been a bittersweet one. What was the dream of our forefathers? That every person had the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? So what’s the problem Matthew…hasn’t your adventure been one big pursuit of happiness?
Yes…but that is where I think my negativity towards today is setting in.
For 34 days I have been on this adventure, and for 34 days I have been shown the ultimate kindness from strangers. I have been welcomed into homes, harbors, resturants, RV’s and into some of the greatest friendships I could have hoped to build.
So what is the problem with that?
My problem with that….America is my problem with that.
The people, the news and the social media that has taken over our country today is my problem with that.
No I am not getting all political on who I think should or shouldn’t be president, or some rant about how to change things.
I am upset in the American people. I don’t have statistics, but I know darn well there is a huge divide right now in our country. Everywhere you go, or every news outlet that you turn on, talks of a riot, a shooting, this in justice or that one.
There is no one president that is the solution to America…the solution is ourselves.
For 34 days…people who have never met me before…strangers…have treated me with more kindness and generosity then I have ever seen given to anyone. It hasn’t mattered if that person has been white, black, brown, red, purple or green…everyone of them has treated a big, semi ashy and sunburnt guy better than they would even treat their own mothers.
So my dream…my hope on this 4th of July…is for all of us in this country to start taking action. No I don’t mean picking up our guns or having a sit in. I am talking about taking action in our everyday lives. Stop worrying about someone else. Stop caring if they support this right, that right or what color their skin is. Start making a change.
Walk down the street and say hello to someone. Hold the door for an elderly lady. Ask an old man how his day is going. A please and thank you to a deli worker or just a simple smile at someone vs burying your head in your phone typing out your next political meme. You just might never know whose day will change more…theirs or your own.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal”…
Yes…we are all equal. History has shown this hasn’t always been the case for all groups of people. So, why not change our future? What this country, us, Americans need to realize sooner than later, is we are all here…in America to live that dream…for life, liberty and the pursuit of our own happiness. So start making a change. Start chasing your dreams. Start believing that you can make a difference. Maybe not in all lives, but you can in at least 1 person’s life each day. That simple wave hello may be all that person needs to wave to someone else they see, or maybe just brighten up their own day. And maybe, just maybe, you may find a little more happiness in your own life in the process.
That is the way we can change this country. We can’t change everyone, but we can influence someone. Do your part…follow your American Dream…and embrace the fact that we still do live in the greatest country in the world. The land of the free, home of the brave.
America: One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice FOR ALL.