The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage.
Point To Ponder:
Do you take your freedoms for granted and possibly forget that you get to choose your actions, attitudes and behaviors?
With our liberties abundant, choose the way you will celebrate and honor your independence.
by Neissa Springmann
Just yesterday I was thinking about the 4th of July and how it really is one of my favorite holidays and times of the year. The sight of flags flying, firework stands and our patriotic colors of red, white and blue are comforting. Everyone is united and unlike many holidays, it isn’t stressful, but instead it’s festive, lazy and happy.
This year, I will celebrate Independence Day by flying our flag, attending the neighborhood parade, and enjoying a relaxing afternoon of grilling and fun with my sister’s family. However, and while this is tradition and something I love doing, when I really think about July 4th and it’s meaning, my plans feel indulgent- especially compared to our forward-thinking and courageous Founding Fathers and Armed Forces.
I’ll be honest, joining our military is not something I could do. I love our country and feel abundantly blessed to be born and raised an American citizen, but I am simply not brave enough to put my life on the line. That type of sacrifice is unfathomable, admirable and heroic and I am eternally grateful for the individuals who are inspired by this calling.
So, while my plan is to enjoy the special holiday by doing things I enjoy, my goal is to resist taking my freedom for granted or become apathetic. As a result, I’ve decided to celebrate and let my freedom ring for our amazing country, soldiers and her history by not complaining this entire week. For example, I don’t have childcare this week, which is extremely frustrating and throws my schedule off… but really, the fact that I get to work, can afford childcare and have a wonderful woman who keeps and loves my son Durant outweighs any and all complaints. Next, of course it’s going to be hot, but it’s not Afghanistan hot (blessing #1), I have a house that allows me to escape the heat (blessing #2), and I have air conditioning (blessing #3). Finally, oftentimes I complain that I am tired, but the truth is that I’m tired because I have the gift of a healthy toddler and I love to work. All of these above mentioned things I choose and would never change.
4th of July Fireworks in downtown Austin
Additionally, and most importantly, I will show appreciation to every soldier I see and will approach him or her with a hug, hand shake and a “Thank you for your service.” I believe this is the very least I can do for their gallant sacrifice and service.
Finally, the 4th of July is very special and serves as an opportunity to “get out of myself.” It energizes me to reflect on my blessings and all of the freedoms I have. It reminds me that I really do get to choose everything, from my attitude, my work, who I am married to, how I spend my day, what I eat, how I worship, who I spend time with and how I live my life. The list of choices and liberties goes on and on and this Independence Day. I encourage you to find ways to let your freedom ring, loud and proud. In addition, with the Olympic Trials on television, the Olympics Games around the corner, and inspirational stories of the American Dream in full bloom, this week’s video displays a beautiful example of what is possible in this great country.
Lolo Jones video- Raising an Olympian
JOIN THE DISCUSSION- How are you going to let your freedom ring??