Ahhh, how we look forward to the 4th of July holiday! Every year we get excited for beach life, barbecues, picnics, pool parties, and of course, fireworks! We put on our most patriotic reds, whites and blues and celebrate all of the beautiful things that we love about our country.
As I laid at the pool on the 4th of July and stared at the American flag hanging from the lifeguard chair, I thought about how lucky I am to be a woman born in this time, in America, and I thought about all of the freedom I have that so many others do not simply based on their circumstance. Here we women can pursue education to the highest extent, we can speak our minds, we can go into any line of work, we can own homes, we can marry whomever we want, and we can raise children on our own; we have opportunities that simply aren’t available everywhere. And while prejudice still exists and we have a long, long (and I mean LONG) way to go, I can’t help but think that sometimes we focus too much on all of the things wrong with our country instead of all of the things that are right about it.
In a nation of our size and stature, built on a foundation of all of these different cultures mixed together we are bound to have challenges. Sometimes those who’ve come from generations past of Americans feel that they have a certain entitlement to this country over newcomers. Sometimes those who come in from other countries bring in their own biases based on their accustomed lifestyle and culture. It takes time for people to adjust, learn from each other and accept each others' differences.
Ultimately it seems that everyone is here for the same reason; to give their families a good life with opportunities that they may not have elsewhere. Just remember that there is plenty to go around if we help each other instead of hold each other back. We are stronger together always. So this week I ask you to be a good human, be open to those who are different from you, and appreciate all that you have in this moment. Happy belated Independence Day folks!
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