Thursday, July 03, 2008

Independence Day

I avoid politics in this blog. I don't talk politics much with friends and acquaintances. But I am involved. I have not missed voting a single time since I turned 18. I write my local, state, and national representatives when I feel strongly about an issue or concern. I follow how my elected officials vote, how they run their campaigns and their offices, and I remember their actions when I cast my vote.

I'm not going to spout off now about what mistakes we have made, or delve into thorny issues, but as it is Independence Day, I want to share a few things about this place that I happened to be born in... a place that has wealth and freedoms and beauty that gives me blessings unmatched elsewhere in the world.


The United States of America.

Powerful nation.

Powerful ideas behind the nation.

Freedom. Individual rights. Tolerance for other faiths, other views, simply others.

I am unhappy over some of the changes our nations has seen over the last decade or so. Lawsuits which warn us not to use hair dryers in showers, that our coffee is hot, that our children shouldn't wrap their heads in plastic, we shouldn't stand in front of moving heavy equipment.

I'm also concerned about the erosion of civil liberties and due process.

But, all that aside, I love my country.

Though we may seem like we are butting into the business of everyone else in the world, that we are arrogant or self-centered, there is something to remember.

We are a people who believe in justice. We believe, on the whole, in responsibility, and protecting the weak, and doing the right thing.

When I was 19 I spent an afternoon laughing so hard that my sides ached, my cheeks hurt from grinning. I and a dozen others spent the afternoon dangling our feet in a hot spring and listened to a very funny man, Red Skelton, tell jokes.

Red once had something to say about America, something I echo each year to my students. And I want to share that with you:

One more thing... another larger than life American was John Wayne. I also saw him in person, though I didn't say a word to him. He was the second person ahead of me in a line at a pharmacy in Newport Beach. It didn't seem right to approach the man in such a situation. But he also had something to say about us I would like to share:

Happy Independence Day. Thank you for those who sacrifice their comfort, their time with families, their lives, to protect me and my family.

And while we are a nation that is far from perfect, I pray that the best parts of who we are spread throughout the world. They are precious and I would love everyone to feel safe worshipping where they like, voting how they like, and be free to say what they believe.

God bless all of you.

P.S. Here is another example of the kind of men that make me feel the way I do about my country:


Marvin the Martian said...

Nice post, Curious! I admire men who love their country, like you and Red and John. America needs more people who take pride in this country, who want to make it great and keep it great.

God bless you and yours, and God bless America!

Fred said...

The Red Skelton video was priceless, CS. Have a great holiday and God Bless America!

P.S. I'm with you on the politics thing...I get enough of it in the classroom.

Live, Love, Laugh said...

Curious Servant, I have been out of touch a little while helping my sister thru her tragedy, but I am back now. I appreciate you sharing your heart. God is working in and through you and it may seem you are not reaching your wife, but seeds are being sown and
God's will is going to be done.

You have alot to share and a purity that is seldom seen in your Christian walk. I can feel God's love everytime I come here, so don't ever doubt that you are getting through.

You are an incredible writer, I and I know others too can feel what you are writing, you are able to illustrate your view points to where I am touched by the Holy Spirit each and every time I read your posts.

Thanks again for sharing, God is using you incredibility in my life and the lives of so many others. Keep on sharing brother, we need to hear what God is saying thru you.

God bless you. I will be praying for you, your wife and your children.

KAN said...

I "ditto" everything that Live Love Laugh said. And I LOVED this post. I am very proud to be American. More of us need to stand up and say just that, too. No, I'm not trying to be political, just wanting to re-remind people that America is the best nation on earth, and if you don't believe it, go live somewhere else, and you'll find out just how good we've got it.

The Feathered Nest said...

I knew you were an artist! I can tell by the images you chose for the video and of course by your blogs ~ I've tried the hairspray and must have needed a different brand. I've also used matte clear coat spray on sealer as well. I've been taking the easy way out lately and just layering the top papers and using the matte gel on the very last sheet to adhere to the plate! Thank you so much for your advice though...I think I need to buy Aquanet or something cheap to try the technique again. Wishing you and your family a wonderful evening, Dawn

Julana said...

We are blessed to live here.

KAN said...

This blog world is almost another world -- kind of a horizontal experience maybe. You can bounce all over the place, "meeting" all kinds of people, with all kinds of ideas and talents, living life and wanting to tell others about what is going on. Almost weird, but not quite.

I could NOT imagine where the hairspray came from in the above comment to save my soul. Obviously, a case of mistaken identity, then I went to her blog and found the art world personified, and you giving lessons in the adhesive powers of hairspray and art.

Multi-talented, huh. (grin, Will, grin)

Where will I go now, and what will I learn...kan

Lucy Stern said...

All three tributes were priceless....I love to watch "Yankee Doodle Dandy" every fourth to July. James Cagney did an awesome job of telling the story of George M. Cohen.

I pray often for God to protect this nation and it's liberty and the Constitution....

Thanks for you thoughts.

Live, Love, Laugh said...

I just got the comments you left on my post. God is so good. Right now I am going thru some things and you encouraged me to be patient, but sometimes it is hard to be patient. God could move His finger and change things and although I know He has His reasons for not doing so, it is difficult waiting. I know His words says to trust Him and that all things work together for good to those wholove the Lord, and He is not far from the seeker and to make our requests made known to God. I am just struggling right now with being patient and waiting for Him to move. I asked myself if the reason He is silent is because of some disobedience on my part. I search my heart, I ask Him to show me if there is anything in my life that is causing Him to be silent, still I know He is working, I just wish sometimes He would work faster or according to my time table. So thanks for this morning, I needed to hear that things don't always happen when we want them to. You are in my prayers.

Poetikat said...

What a brilliant post, Will. You have certainly spotlighted the integral wonder and beauty of your great land.
I grew up watching Red Skelton and have seen many a John Wayne flick. Your use of these videos has made me mindful not just of your country's greatness, but makes me appreciate my own.

Thank you,


P.S. Likewise, do I feel great emotion when I see the soldiers who fight to keep us all free.

KAN said...

I want to thank you again for this blog. Thanks especially for the Red Skelton monologue. I have read it many times, but had not seen it in YEARS. It is so moving and so heart-wrenching.

It also gave me the chance to "say" to a co-worker of mine what I couldn't put adequately into words. He is a man my age, very knowledgeable about church history, with very well-established opinions. We were talking about certain national leaders that choose to not place their hands over their hearts and pledge allegiance to the flag of this country. He agreed with them that America was such a big-business only nation that cared nothing for people and he did not respect her anymore, therefore he would not honor her with the pledge.

Whatever your views or political inclinations is not my issue, it is the matter of love and respect that truly has been earned that upset me. It isn't always about "deserved" respect, it is the respect because of the role or position in our lives and in our history. I closed our conversation by not conversing saying anymore "talk" was moot. I came home and forwarded the monologue. Sure, I know I didn't affect him at all, just added fuel to his flame, but I surely felt better.

Thanks again. Miss hearing from you...