Tuesday, July 05, 2005

How does one celebrate independence?

Yes, I wanted to get home and write this last night, but I didn't. I was too tired to do so after a long day of being with friends and family. So, forgive the lateness of this post.

But how does one celebrate independence? What would a July 4th look like if we identified and discussed what being independent is really about? What conclusions would we come up with? What would such a day look like? Would it look like the celebrations we currently practice?

Let's take a look at our current practices and different parts of them:
1) Fireworks and lots of them
2) Food and lots of it
3) (Often) Drinking and lots of it
4) Water (as in boats, lakes, and such) and lots of it
5) People and lots of them
6) Family and lots of them

Besides the cursory mention of the Declaration of Independence (and reference to whatever current military conflict our nation is embroiled in overseas), do many people actually talk about what July 4th is all about? (If you do so, that's great, but are you in the majority?) How many of us even know, outside of even celebrating July 4th, what the day is about? (And no, this won't be a history lesson today)

I say all that to say this -- I probably had the best July 4th yesterday that I've had in awhile. Why is that, you might say? It's most likely because I spent the day with people who are important to me, people who matter in my life. My close friend Carrie would tell you that July 4th is her MOST favorite holiday, not because of what the day commemorates, but because it's a day to unabashedly spend with your best of friends and family, more so than Thanksgiving, more so than Christmas. And after spending a absolutely great day with my friends and family, I would be inclined to agree with her, though none of us ever talked about the Declaration of Independence, the Second Continental Congress, King George III, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, or anything else of that nature. We just spent the day together at an Astros' game, at a late lunch, at the house resting, at a fireworks display, and at a restaurant for dessert afterwards.

Thus, we didn't celebrate independence; we celebrated friendship and family. Is that so wrong? Again, how does one celebrate a national day of independence? What does that look like? I know that, for me, my visions on that topic have changed. And they've changed for the better.


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