The world is a terrible place. It's easy to feel that way. We are seeing unbridled weather-related storms that devastate areas of the world, leaving hundreds of people homeless. We are witnessing unparalleled outbreaks of gun violence even against children. Domestic bloodshed is on the rise. Hostility against races, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation blatantly continues. Wars last indefinitely; terrorism's intensity and savagery almost appears normal. Even driving cars on highways or country back roads are equally dangerous as road rage seems to be increasing. So, as we add up the atrocities against the environment and its people, the world can be seen as a terrible place.
As Americans begin to celebrate their freedom--their independence, I would ask you to think what freedom means to you. Yes, we live in a free country, thanks to the men and women who fought and continue to fight for liberty, justice, and the pursuit of happiness. I wonder, though, if we could choose to care more about our world, our country, our people, all people from all backgrounds. I wonder if we could choose to care about our thoughts, our actions, our words and the delivery of those words. How does what we say and do affect others? I wonder if we could choose to care and what that would mean for everyone on earth. We might create the freedom that I believe we all deserve.
You may think you have to do something big-something that takes a lot of time to show that you care. But something small can be huge-like a smiling at a stranger, like not speeding and cutting someone off and then giving them the finger. You can give of yourself by not expecting anything in return but showing someone the respect they deserve. You can celebrate your freedom by thanking the men and women who are making it possible for you to be at home safe and secure. You can celebrate your freedom by making sure everyone enjoys the same freedoms. You can let go of your prejudices, abusive behavior, small talk, and petty obsession with possessions and perfect looks.
Maybe if we all did something small to show we care, the world might not be such a terrible place. Maybe we can create a future for our children that models behaviors of decency, respect, love of country and all the principles our fore founders struggled to establish. We should cherish and protect our rights by caring to change how we treat our environment, our country, its citizens, and the citizens of the world.