It’s the 4th of July. Independence Day! The most important day in the history of our nation! But I often feel very conflicted when national holidays like this come around. For me, I get very disillusioned with the concept of celebrating a nation that seems so incredible today, but is broken and full of problems on every other day of the year.
This morning, I saw a friend post on Facebook wishing everyone a happy 4th of July. I had woken up with this disconnect and frustration, but this simple Facebook post got me to thinking. Is today a day worth celebrating? And as I thought, I realized that it most certainly is!
Stop and think for a minute about this country we live in, the United States of America. Sure, there is plenty of room for improvement. But put that to the side that for a moment. Let’s talk about what makes this country great.
- Freedom of religion press, speech, assembly, etc. This is big. I don’t believe that any other country supports and defends these freedoms and rights to the extent that we do. And the best part is that we can effectively speak out when we believe these freedoms are being infringed on.
- Opportunity. The U.S. is gold when it comes to opportunity. Social mobility is very achievable in the U.S. With a lot of hard work and the right attitude, you can become basically anything you want in the United States. This is not the case in many other countries.
- Equality. The U.S. has achieved greater social equality than probably any other country in the world. As Dinesh D’Souza puts it, “The American janitor or waiter sees himself as performing a service, but he doesn’t see himself as inferior to those he serves. And neither do his customers see him that way: They are generally happy to show him respect and appreciation on a plane of equality. America is the only country in the world where we call the waiter ‘Sir,’ as if he were a knight.”
- Stable political system. Political elections in the U.S. don’t cause riots, unrest, or a big mess, unlike many countries around the world. The fact that an exchange of authority and power can occur so smoothly is a huge blessing.
I could expand on each of these a lot. But I think this illustrates my point. In spite of its faults, the United States of America truly is an exceptional nation, one that we should not take for granted. There is no other country I would want to make my permanent residence.
Is there room for improvement? Oh yes. Is everything in the U.S. perfect? Oh no. Are there wrongs to be made right and abuses to curb? Absolutely. But let’s not forget that the benefits of this nation that we enjoy as commonplace are no small feat. Let’s not take this nation for granted.
Take some time and read the Declaration of Independence. It’s a really cool document that will make you appreciate this country even more. We are truly blessed by God to live in the United States of America. Happy 4th of July everyone!