Tamera_colorcloseup  I’ve been thinking about how different people have shared how
they celebrated the 4th of July, which truly represents the
individuality of being American, including: participating in a parade, fishing and boating at the cabin, attending a baseball game (of course, my bias is the Twins in their new open air stadium), and watching (or shooting off your own) fireworks.

That individuality is what makes our country great and it
also makes it difficult at times to encompass equality with all of the diversity.
  Yet I think we forget (I know I do!)
that we have such liberty bestowed on us just because we are Americans.  I echo my
colleague, Sylvia Lane’s sentiment in her
blog post last week that we are blessed to live in a country that
affords us freedom of choice to design our own lives.

I know I take my freedoms for granted and do occasionally
whine or complain about my circumstances or things that are “imposed” on me,
but I catch myself quickly, because I have a rule that if I’m not willing to do something
about it, I don’t get to complain about it.
  That includes how my school district
spends money, laws that are passed or what our country is doing about the Gulf
or in Afghanistan. Instead, I take advantage of the rights I do have and vote,
participate in assemblies and influence decisions that affect me in other
ways.  However, if I’m not willing
to be on the school board or run for a local office, my complaining is

Instead, I choose to look at all the good I have in my life and
empower myself with the choices I make, such as where I live, where I send my
children to school, the church where I worship, the causes I choose to support,
and so on.  It is liberating to take advantage of these
rights and would make our founding fathers proud. 

How are you capitalizing on the liberties available to
you as an American?
 Please post a comment and share with us – we’d love to hear
from you!