It’s hard not to feel conflicted today, a day when we’re supposed to celebrate being American and there are so many terrible things happening in this country right now. Families are being separated. People’s rights are at risk of being taken away. The worst thing is that there are many Americans who seem to support it, considering they voted for the people responsible for it all. It’s really hard to feel proud of that. It’s even harder to want to celebrate that. So my suggestion is this: don’t celebrate it. Choose to celebrate something else today. Is there an obstacle you’ve overcome in the past year? A goal you’ve reached? Some burden you’re free of now? And when the celebration is over, find something you can do to make this country a better place no matter how inconsequential that thing may seem to you.
I’m choosing to celebrate my health. My freedom from pain and fatigue. This time last year I could not walk for even 10 minutes without my feet, knees, and back hurting. This year I can walk several miles a day with no pain. I’m choosing to celebrate my newly found confidence. This time last year I couldn’t stand looking at my reflection, never mind having anyone else notice me. This year, let people look! I look in the mirror and say to myself “Damn, I look cute today!” rather than “Ugh, I hate the way I look.”
I will go out into my community today and celebrate the arts. I will eat delicious food without fear that I won’t be able to stop. I will listen to good music and watch fireworks with the man I love. And when the celebration is over I will come home and find a way to use my talents to make this country a better place, even if I can only help one or two people at a time.
What are you choosing to celebrate today? What will you do to make this country, your country, a better place?