by Chrysa Smith

Listening to the news is like being a spectator at a ping-pong match. He’s to blame for a bad economy. The other guy ships jobs oversees. He doesn’t understand business. The other guy is out of touch. Yikes! It’s hard to believe that we get up everyday, put on our socks and live our lives. It sounds like our country is in a real mess. And that’s not something to celebrate on the 4th.

Living in the burbs of Philadelphia, the 4th has special significance. After all, the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed here. The first capitol and bank of the US began here. Folks like George Washington, Ben Franklin, Betsy Ross roamed the cobble-stone streets. And William Penn; well he was responsible for building a green city and leading our tolerance for religious freedom.

So, in addition to our excellent past, we have much to celebrate today. Our country still leads the world on many fronts. We meld into this melting pot of ethnicity, religious diversity, economic differences on a daily basis, and for the most part, we do so without civil war and ethnic uprisings. We have freedoms to pursue our life paths without interference. We have civil rights and great social mobility. We produce some of the world’s best entertainment and like it or not, the world generally does revolve around us.

But perhaps the most interesting and comforting thing about this country of ours is this: regardless of election results, when the fighting between parties is put aside and the inauguration takes place, we know one thing. And that is that we can continue to get up, put our socks on and have our personal lives go on, fairly uninterrupted. No coups, no sweeping fanatical dictators, no drastic, negative civil rights changes. Our lives simply continue as they have, with the comfort level that our next meal, our next night and our life choices will march on. And that is something worthy of some fireworks.

Happy Birthday America. Happy 4th of July to you.