Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Fourth of July & Independence Day

In my experience there are two things you should never bother to argue about: politics and religion.  You can spend a lot of breath and energy making as many good points as you'd like about either topic, but unless the person you are talking to is already on your side, you're wasting your time.*  I've listened to two grown men, who I thought otherwise intelligent, arguing until they were red in the face.  Both completely furious that the other person couldn't see the simple truth of the facts that they were presenting and neither listening for one minute to what the other was saying.

Having said that, I'm now going to flirt with breaking that rule.

It seems to me that there is a difference between "The Fourth of July" and "Independence Day" and it's a shame that most Americans seem to have lost the importance of one of them somewhere along the way.

The Fourth of July: This is a day in which families and friends get together and celebrate.  They generally grill out, have picnics, or participate in some other food gathering that typically takes place outside.**  They participate in other outdoor activities like father-son softball games, three-legged races, egg tosses and the like.  A lot of watermelon and beer is consumed and then the day is capped off with a bunch of great fireworks that thrill us as they light up the night sky.

Independence Day: This is a day in which Americans remember that the country that they live in wasn't always here.  They take time to recognize that the freedoms that they enjoy were not free to begin with and maintaining them is not free now.  And they understand that a lot of people have paid a huge price to make sure that they have and continue to have those freedoms.  They might just go one step further and see that while there are differences of opinion on how to continue running our great nation, we are fortunate in the extreme to be able to spend so much time arguing about how we're going to do it and realizing that even if the other party makes some ground on their political agenda we are all still amazingly fortunate compared with most of the rest of the world***.

Anyway, those are some thoughts I've been mulling over for the last couple of days.  I hope you had a wonderful Fourth of July and I hope you had an Independence Day.

Fourth of July: B
Independence Day: A+

* - Of course arguing to people who are already on your side is also a waste of time.
** - The current temperature hovering around 100 degrees notwithstanding.
*** - Or really amazingly fortunate compared to all of the rest of the world.  (Sorry, rest of the world.)

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