Saturday, July 3, 2010

Afghanistan Day 42: Camp Eggers (July 3)

On the 4th of July, we celebrate our independence from England.  We have developed an entire culture about this celebration:  expected colors, foods, social interactions, fireworks, and even music.  We eat fruit and cook outside and in some cases, relax at the beach and bask in our delicious freedom.

I hope on this day you will spend just 1 moment considering all the nations, peoples, and families who are dying either literally or figuratively for independence- who yearn for the simple freedoms we thrive on.  Take just a moment to be grateful for your own bed, your electricity, your own toilet (cuz no matter how awful it is, its better than the alternatives- trust me),  your clean water, your public library, your quality radio programs, your right to go to the beach when you want to and wear what you want there, your right to read any book you like, your right to shop wherever you want, your privilege of paying tax and having at least some portion of it result in public works for your country.  Enjoy your ability to locate a pharmacy that actually sells medicine and not housewives' tales.  Enjoy soap.  Enjoy being clean.  Consider just for 1 moment that really and truly not everyone in the world has these things.

Let go, if you can- even if its just for a while, of notions of superiority, entitlement, self-righteousness.  We are lucky, and we are strong because we are able to be humble when it matters.  Do not be above sincere gratitude to your lawmakers, to your leaders, and to your maker.  Celebrate our ability to be free agents.  Have the maturity to be responsible with your agency: exercise, manage your time responsibly,
take medicine when you are ill, be kind to people from other countries- just say hello, ask them where they are from, wish them a good day- set the example of how people should treat each other.  Model behaviors you wish to see in others.  You have the opportunity to make that choice- don't be passive.

When you put on your red, white, and blue attire, and when you run around with your sparklers, when you sink your feet into the sand, choose actively, deliberately to let go of stubborn pride and humbly assume the responsibility that comes with the rights your life is blessed with.  We are all blessed, and those of us who enjoy the blessings of independence are responsible for blessing others among our human family.  Be grateful.  Be grateful in spite of pain, disappointment, and loneliness.  Be grateful  Show it without arrogance or judgment.  Be patient, more than you think you can.  You are independent, don't allow bad habits, fear, or laziness restrict your freedom.  It is actually shameful to be so selfish that you do not accomplish your missions in life because you can't find your motivation.  Get to work, stay focused, and be truly independent.

Thank you to those who have, do, and will ensure our freedom, our right to maintain independence, and for the examples of leadership and strength that we have in seas of corruption, difficulty, and doubt.  Your sacrifices are not unnoticed.  I hope we can be worthy of them.

1 comment:

  1. This is worth sharing and remembering...I shall do both. With love and respect, Your mother