I have to really concentrate, is it fourth or forth? Every time I write out that number I try it out both ways and realize it's really fourth. It seems so wrong, but then again forth seems even more wrong. Inevitably, I end up writing 4th in all my spelling insecurity. Ha!
This is a holiday that I deeply respect in meaning but sort of get annoyed by in reality. It was more fun when I was single heading to a great fireworks show in Portland, New York or San Francisco. Before my worries of kids waking up from extreme pops and sizzles into the wee hours. Before the days of fretting my husband making it home alive after a late night gig. Staying up waiting for him, hoping the police didn't show up instead to tell me there was an awful accident of some sort....All fears I've feared over the years on this glorious holiday.
It is a fabulous occasion to celebrate. I feel a bit of pride seeing our flag waving in our yard. There's a sense of gratefulness for the freedoms that we enjoy. And we do enjoy them. Often without a second thought. Not that I feel like we should feel guilty, but there are many countries full of people in the midst of suffering and political struggles. I hope and pray for their peace. How blessed we are.
I recall traveling in Greece years ago and finding it (this was before 911) alarmingly eye opening that Americans are resented, disliked and in some cases hated. The friends I met there said we think we're so big and important, not giving a second thought to others. I felt a bit ashamed at the moment. I didn't defend us with examples of charity for those that find themselves in the middle of disaster clean up... but we do probably think that way a bit on some level. At least I could see how we could be thought of as puffed up. We've got some issues, sure.
Every country does. But I'm glad for what we have. We have a pride that won't quit. We have a mentality that rises when called upon. We have good people that genuinely want to be successful in life and try with all their might no matter their situation. All worthy of pride, in my wee little opinion. And what is pride but an inflated sense of self... as well as a feeling of satisfaction in achievement. One of those is negative, the other positive. So they see it as negative, we see it as positive, I suppose. I don't know. I'm not terribly political, just happy to be an American.