Happy Fourth of July! It’s our nation’s birthday. I’ve posted Ideas for celebrating below, based on this basic life-principle we all tend to forget:
A nation starts its life in the beginning as land, as earth — before people arrived to populate it. And that land, the soil, water and things that grow on it, are what’s supporting all of our lives. This is true for all people in all nations, which is why I chose the earth-flag photo. Honoring our nation should involve honoring the earth and land.
Patriotism does not have to be at the expense of any other nation or people. Also, patriotism can employ some healthy critical thinking about our actions, and a spirit of self-improvement.
Reject the TV and movies in favor of outdoors. Summer weather is too precious to be sitting sedentary indoors. Get outdoors, instead: walk and bike, throw Frisbees and softballs around, run through sprinklers; take nature hikes; play volleyball, soccer or croquet. Besides, no TV constitutes a great diet.
Make your own food instead of buying pre-packaged food. Sure, it takes more time, but that’s what three-day weekends give us a rich supply of. Apple pies are American, so bake one. If you are pie-crust-challenged like me, make a fruit cobbler like I do (sweetly forgiving by nature). See Cooking For Climate Change
Better yet, grow your own food: get out in the garden. It’s highly patriotic to nurture the land we’re living on, and to not just depend on people far away to feed us. As I write, our blueberries and strawberries need to be picked again, and if you were to show up at my front door, I would have beautiful lettuce leaves to share with you, including “red sails” and “deer’s tongue”. Also, working in the front garden makes us available for some great chats with neighbors.
Read a good book. The founding fathers who wrote the Declaration of Independence and Constitution read a lot of good books. We should emulate them. Use the library if needed: your taxpayer dollars at work. Two of my favorite reads are Barbara Kingsolver’s Prodigal Summer and Eric Brende’s Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology. These books inspire while they also entertain.
Go to church. The beauty of worship, to me, is in getting past details of dogma and realizing we are part of something much greater than ourselves, a Creation guided by love. Another great thing about church is the inter-generational community it fosters. If you’re on the political left, don’t reject religion just because the political right has tried to co-opt it and brand it as conservative. Take a look at my Confession: I Love Church.
photo courtesy of waywuwei