It's funny how the past few years have left me feeling more reflective than celebratory when it comes to our Independence Day. I have many days where I'm incredibly grateful to be an American, but the days when I'm proud to be an American? Well, lately, that can be quite the challenge.
It's not hard to find the holes in the thread of our flag - places that need a little mending to say the least - but today, I'm making this post one of hope for our country, because I know how great we already are.
President Bill Clinton once said, "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured with what is right in America." Of all the patriotic quotes I went through to put into this post, this one stood out to me the most because of its simple message. We are not broken - far from it. It's the things that are already right about our nation that will help us to rise above what is wrong. We have the freedom, the power, the people to not only make better decisions for our country, but to actually put them in motion. We are incredibly lucky.
So, today I choose to see a nation full of hard-working people. We are who we are because of those who were born here, and those who chose to come here in search of something greater. We are a whole - for better or worse - and we need to remember that which makes this country of ours already so great: We have the ability to lift each other up and make this country better by being better to each other.
To respect for our fellow man and woman. To remember kindness. To smile. To protect each other. To speak up for inequalities and inadequacies. To defend that freedom that we so love to talk about, but also to use it and value it. To take advantage of the many opportunities that this country gives us - mainly by educating ourselves and being a part of the process. By having conversation and not being afraid to change, to grow, to admit wrong, and to be better.
We do not need to be great again - we already are. But we can do better - for each other and for our country. I wish you all a wonderful and safe 4th of July.