Dependence Day

Today is July 4th, or Independence Day in the USA.  We celebrate our freedom.  All the freedoms cited in our Constitutional Amendments:  press, speech, religion, etc.  We, nation of immigrants, are free and independent.  Or are we?

I am free to think what I want, do what I want within the bounds of the law, and speak my mind.  No small thing.  In most of the rest of the world I could not do that.  Something to be celebrated.  Yet when I think about it, I concede that I am more dependent than independent.  Examples: I depend on workers to pay into Social Security so I can collect mine.  I depend on the Post Office to deliver my mail.  I depend on the County to fill potholes.  I depend on the volunteer fire department if I need them, the sheriff’s deputies as well, and I depend on food inspectors to keep me safe from being poisoned.  I depend on insurance to cover my health claims, and to honor my car repair claims if I need them.  I depend on banks and financial institutions to keep my accounts safe so that my funds will be there when I need them.  I depend on family and friends to come through for me if I need them.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

We cannot survive without each other.  Even a Hermit has to go into town occasionally for supplies.  So while it is great that we celebrate our freedoms on July 4th, Independence Day, maybe we should set aside some time to acknowledge reality:  maybe establish a Dependence Day?  I doubt that would catch on.

I used to live Out West, where the myth of the rugged individual was promoted.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Pioneers depended on each other for survival.  Mormons still stockpile grain in Salt Lake City. In Native American culture the ultimate punishment was to be banished from the tribe.

Today our Commander in Chief has decided to Salute America by driving tanks in Washington D.C., having military marches and fly-overs, and giving a speech in front of his supporters at the Lincoln Memorial.  How could that not be partisan?  We are paying for it.  I’m sure he will espouse the greatness of America, the greatness of his policies, and the greatness of Him.  What I’m sure he won’t talk about is our dependence on each other, and his dependence on us.

1 Comment

  1. I’m reminded that Gov. Jesse Ventura, when given the opportunity to sign legislation to require that the Pledge of Allegiance be recited in all Minnesota public schools, declined, saying “Do we have a problem with patriotism in Minnesota? I don’t think so!”


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