I know a lot of people have developed some pretty mixed feelings about celebrating the 4th of July. You know, there are things that could be said about people on both sides of the fence though. I personally choose to consider both angles, and I’d rather examine viewpoints encompassing the entire spectrum rather than to pass judgment on either side. There are a lot of people who are skeptics or realists, just like me. Sometimes people confuse us for just being negative ungrateful people but that’s a pretty big oversimplified assessment if you ask me. I can tell you why.
So it’s easy to get caught up thinking about all of the fear, hatred, and negativity that has poisoned our country as a result of many of the changes that were made after the first of the year. The truth is though that most of us have a place to live, electricity, water, and our country has decent disease control comparatively speaking. Regardless, when you have individuals who find themselves negatively affected or alienated by the way our country is being managed, comparing living conditions to 3rd world countries does not necessarily justify expecting everyone to be able to show the same type of appreciation for these things when they find it difficult to enjoy life.
Let’s consider this for a moment though, most of us know that the media tends to embellish and sensationalize the news. If you consider that fear can be used as a control tactic, what better vessel exists to incite fear than the media. Furthermore, control is a form of power. Anyone who desires to make decisions on behalf of an entire country does not do so for altruistic purposes. When people are focused on fear and negativity to the point that they let it run their lives, it makes it nearly impossible for those individuals to find peace.
Individuals who are unable to find peace become vulnerable to the agendas of others. Being full of negativity creates conditions that make it difficult to even think straight, much less enjoy life. You can forget about trying to celebrate a moment in the history of a country where the majority makes you feel alienated. That’s a problem.
That’s a problem that breeds more problems and as a result, we’ve got a lot of paranoia, anxiety, and overall hopelessness present in American attitudes right now. Those are problems that come with opportunity, responsibility, and liability that exist because we know we stand to lose everything we have if we are not responsible. Many of us are forced to take risks and many of us end up feeling obligated to do things that we don’t want to do.
I don’t like to minimize anyone’s problems because the way people feel about any given topic or situation is all relative to their life experiences. It’s just not fair to tell someone that their concerns don’t matter. Would you like for someone to do that to you?
I would, however, like to take a moment to consider what it means to compare America to these restricted 3rd world countries. There are countries out there where people do not have clean water, electricity, or food. There are countries that are plagued with pestilence and disease. America isn’t exactly a third world country, and unlike North Korea, we also have a lot more freedom than other countries too. It’s a lot easier to find clean water, food, shelter, and it’s feasible for most well-adjusted individuals to manage to make ends meet here in America.
We should at least be thankful for that, right? We can be thankful that the typical American can live however they choose to live as long as they are not imposing on the freedoms of others by doing so. We find it customary to credit Europeans for establishing those freedoms for us here in America and that’s what Independence day is supposed to be a celebration of.
We do have quite a bit to consider being thankful for now. However, if we consider how we obtained many of our freedoms we can’t really say that invading America, killing off Native Americans, enslaving Africans, and destroying or wasting natural resources is something to be proud of. Well, since we are not able to change the past, you’d think that we could at least have advanced enough as a civilization to realize that we should be somewhat pennant of the destruction caused by alienating entire groups of people.
Consequently, there are now places in America where individuals do not have regular access to clean water. Americans are continually being poisoned by air and water pollution, and Institutionalized racism is now deeply embedded in our institutions. The poor are becoming even poorer while the rich are becoming richer. Those who think they are unaffected are becoming indifferent.
Fortunately, there are still people in America who are willing to put their lives at risk to try to do what they honestly believe will protect you and your freedoms as American citizens. That should not go unappreciated regardless of what we feel is the actual reason for modern day warfare.
As you can see, there are so many nuances that make it difficult to blame anyone for the way they feel about our country whether they are resentful of our country, living in fear because they have been alienated or whether they feel the need to show their loyalty and gratitude by defending their country.
You don’t know what experiences someone has had to make them feel the way they do. Therefore, you can not judge someone for calling what you think is a 9, a 6.