Gratitude Sunday: 4th Of July Nation Evaluation

Gratitude * Sunday

Quote of the Week – “…in a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live…or lead a dignified life in the United States.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, youngest woman to run for Congress

Sunday Haiku
Summer days, roses
blooming, trees sweating, green grass
sways lazy with heat.

Sunday Musings
July 4th in America this week. Independence Day. We celebrate the day a group of very different men who sought a better life for themselves and their families declared an independent nation, and came together to sign a document they bothered to write as guidelines for the freedoms of future generations in their new nation, guidelines they agreed to as a sane and sentient body of leaders. In 2018 we celebrate the 4th with family gatherings, picnics, and explosive fireworks.

Are those guidelines pertinent in today’s America? In checking my freedoms in America I’m asking questions today. I have my opinions as you well know; I’m not always right, but I am always learning. While I was the charter president of a community college honor society, the honor society offered an essay contest with the topic “the rights, duties, privileges, and responsibilities of a citizen”. Several students participated in a small discussion group; we laid ground rules for safe space sharing, and I was impressed to see so many different points of view. I have been thinking about those ideas for many years and the questions come again and again in many variations. Now, right this very now, we need to do not only some serious self evaluation, but some nation evaluation, and think through some questions. You only have to answer these questions for yourself; this is not a test. I don’t know all the answers; but this might be a test.

This week’s questions:

What are we free to do?

Are those freedoms the same for all the persons in our families, or neighborhood, or community, or state, or nation? Why? Why not?

What are we free from?

Do you care about the health and well-being of all members of your community and nation? Should you?

Where did we come from? What is your heritage? When did you or your people come to America? Why did they come? Do we have a shared history or does history belong to individuals?

What is patriotism? Who is a patriot? If our opinions differ does that make one of us not a patriot?

Do you identify with a group? Do you prefer to label yourself one thing rather than another? Do you not prefer labels at all?

Are labels or groups to our advantage or detriment?

If your freedoms differ from others, does it come from a place of privilege or a place of difference?

If you have more freedoms than others and/or your freedoms come from privilege do you use your privilege to help others? Should you?

If you have fewer freedoms than others, do you stand up for yourself and others like you, working toward or demanding those freedoms? Should you?

What are your abilities? Are you doing your best to use them? If you are less-abled in any way, are your still doing your best to do what you can?

Do you engage in a system of beliefs, for example, a philosophy or dogma? Do you think everybody should engage in the same system of beliefs? Why? Why not?

Do you deserve more than other people? Do other people deserve the same as you? Do other people deserve less than you? Why? Why not?

Do you believe what you are told or what you read? From any source? From every source? From limited sources? From people who don’t agree with you?

Do you look only at issues within your circle of influence or do you look at the bigger picture beyond yourself? Do you know enough, or any, history of the past? Are you able to imagine a future for yourself, your children, their children, or your nation? Are you able to imagine many futures or many possible futures?

America approaches the 4th of July this year with despotic, chaotic changes in administrative policy and procedure all far beyond the norm as we do not have sane and sentient leaders. It is time to check our freedoms, our privileges, our duties, our responsibilities. Did you answer any of these questions, even if only to yourself? Did you consider them in your heart, your soul, and/or your conscience? You passed the test.

Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – This time of year I have a red, white, and blue house in my neighborhood Love the old fat hydrangea bushes. I don’t know the name of this vermillion red fireburst blossom. Old-fashioned white daisies throw out petals like sparklers. Do you see the little ladybug on the top middle flower? This blue-toned flower reminds me of lilies, but smaller and bunches on one stalk, like many blooming fireworks shot off at the same time.

Current View – {These are only my opinions about movies and books, but don’t let me stop you from trying these reviewed items yourself; your opinion may differ.} Continuing the Dr Kildare (1961-1966, not rated TV series) binge. Exposure at an early age made me comfortable with medical terminology. I also suspect this may be a source for some of my thoughts and beliefs about life and how we treat other people, and perhaps doctors and medicine. * Blade Runner 2049 (2017, rated R), the sequel 30 years later. Ryan Gosling in the lead, and Harrison Ford for the win. I enjoy filmmakers’ imaginations when it comes to possible future technologies. This story improves the replicant with a newer model, and once again introduces the notion of life created from technology in a new way.

Currently ReadingBig Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear (2015, philosophy) by Elizabeth Gilbert. “Inspirational” books are sometimes so much blahbedeblah, but I am entertained by this one with Gilbert’s stories about writing and other writers. * The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (2012, fiction) by Rachel Joyce. The past is revealed as the present unfolds before Harold on his walk from the southernmost point of England to the north on a journey to help a friend dying of cancer. Good summer read.

This week I have been grateful for:

  • Getting another project off my dining table.
  • The stimulation of stuff, material stuff, innate matter that vibrates at a different frequency than me.
  • Rocks, crystals, paper, feathers, cotton, linen, glass, bronze, ceramic.
  • Creating empty zen space in my mind because I also love stuff.
  • The hubster’s newly found bio-family inviting and including all three of us in their established family holiday celebrations.
  • Creating new memories with new people.
  • Reminiscing with a childhood friend and re-analyzing events and people from this perspective of aged distance.
  • Understanding the difficult work in progress of letting some things go.
  • Understanding people are the same and delightfully unique at the same time.
  • Understanding some people struggle with everything, all the time.
  • Experiencing an episode of rolling thunder, which I’d not heard before and how it truly sounded like it was moving from one side of town to another, how loud and how long it was.
  • A box of colorful beans, yellow, green, and purple, cooked grandma-style boiled with bacon. Fascinated to see the purple ones fade to green when cooked. So yummy.
  • Fat yellow rosy Rainier cherries.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch

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2 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: 4th Of July Nation Evaluation

  1. Not sure about those red ones, but I think the purple flowers look like some kind of campanula. Here: http://www.anniesannuals.com/plants/view/?id=3252

    AND, I loved Big Magic so much! I found it inspiring without being all “oh just do it and everything will work out perfectly and you’ll be rich if you just have the right ATTITUDE!”.

    Liked by 1 person

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