Now more than ever it's important to remember that the best way to celebrate our freedoms is to respect and honor those same rights for everyone else. Putting aside our differences to work together is the only way we will be able to preserve our precious independence.
Today, as we celebrate our great nation, I can’t help but reflect on an idea that has been keeping me awake a nights for months. A war has been brewing wishing the borders of the United States for decades, and this battle could destroy us in the near future. We have become so contentious because of our clashing ideals, and we need to find some common ground to resolve the toxic clash of personal freedoms, or independence, and the realistic interdependence that builds beautifully diverse communities.
The battle is becoming increasingly hostile at the same time we celebrate with people who historically have been marginalized as they gain new freedoms. Our ability to instantly communicate our opinions through social media adds pages to the fire hazard sparked by arguments we insist on participating in on Facebook, Twitter, FOX News and other discussion forums. It’s more important for us to prove our point instead of taking time to read and evaluate the truths that the opposition experiences.
We have become so divided as a nation that far too many people consider anyone who views issues differently as our adversaries. It shouldn’t matter whether people are conservative or liberal; we should consider their incentives to do what they believe is best for our nation. Instead of refusing to work together, we should resist arguing and be willing to sit down, discuss ideas, evaluate facts, negotiate proposals and come to agreed-upon solutions to our problems. Our current stubbornness continues to advance the war.
It’s time we realize our freedoms are not being eroded when diverse communities gain those same privileges. Truly independent people are not threatened by Black Lives Matter, Pride parades, Say Her Name, Fight for Fifteen, NOW, Stop the Hate and Religious Tolerance movements. If we are genuinely independent, we honor our freedoms by joining others in their fights to attain and even preserve similar rights.
Let’s stop the war. Next time you read about a mass shooting, express condolences to the families of the victims instead of rehashing your opinions on gun control. Bake that cake instead of preaching your moral code. Find ways to join the fights to end injustices. Show appreciation for your freedoms by helping others in their struggles for the same. Let’s demand equal rights and protections for everyone instead of trying to prove that we are right.
We aren’t alone, and we aren’t meant to be. This Independence Day, let’s break down those barriers that divide us; let’s celebrate our interdependence in spite of our differences. As we gather on our town’s main street, let’s cheer for each group in the parade and recognize their contributions to our communities. Let’s continue this practice every day until we celebrate our next Interdependence Day.
No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.