Happy Independence Day y’all! Bring on the hot dogs, fireworks and incessant amount of Insta pictures with girls wrapped in American flags. Maybe it’s because I’m growing up and more aware of things around me or maybe America has just become more vocal with the emergence of social media, but the amount of disappointment, distrust and disgust people express with our country on a daily basis seems to be at an all-time high. I’m not here here to say America was ever “great”, there’s always been a wealth of issues, but I, for one, have never lost my sense of pride in our country. Nonetheless, on this very day… the 4th of July, you can’t not want to throw on some red, white and blue and show a little love to this country of ours.
When everyone is getting caught up in the upcoming election, fighting social injustice and hating people with different opinions, I’m here to remind you of 10 reasons you can feel okay to feel a little patriotic this 4th of July.
1.Freedom of speech
That sounds so simple, but it’s something we take for granted. We can say whatever we want here in the USA. It might not be right, but people make jabs at Obama all the time. People diss congress’ political decisions, they trash political candidates left and right. You can openly express your distaste for a law without consequence. In so many other countries, citizens are persecuted for their beliefs or for acting out against authority. We’re pretty lucky here I’d say… so feel free to keep posting your unsupported political arguments on Facebook, no one’s going to stop ya. 😉
Yes, we could argue about how difficult it is to move from one socio-economic class to another… and there is some truth to that, but overall, there is a lot of opportunity here. We’re offered free education that is accessible to everyone growing up and there are a lot of options for postsecondary education as well. If you are even the slightest bit artsy you can build yourself a small business with little capital investment on Etsy, you can earn money by writing your ideas online, you can even make money by using certain apps or mystery shopping in stores. So many businesses are willing to give people internships and to help them grow professionally. It may not be easy to become successful, but at least there are a ton of chances and a lot of people willing to give advice and opportunity along the way.
This may be more of a Southern thing, but there is nothing greater in the land than tailgates, school colors/mascots and college football games. There is something truly American about it and it’s something we can all come together on. We all wear our favorite school’s colors with pride and yell for our teams through the good and the bad. Can I get a “Go Dawgs”?
4. Food on Food on Food
I realize as I’m typing this how gluttonous it sounds, but do you realize what a blessing that is? There are countries that don’t know where their next meal is coming from and we’re able to eat pretty much whatever we want. I may or may not have had more than one hot dog today, as well as chips, potato salad, watermelon and ice cream. Mmmm… delish. Not to mention, have you ever counted the number of buffets there are around? I, myself, am not a fan of buffets (I’m currently feeling queasy just thinking about Golden Corral and those nasty Chinese buffets), but they are plenty. Plus, who isn’t a fan of the 24-hour drive thru?!
5. We’re Safe…
I say this one lightly. There have been a lot of sad things that have recently happened in our country… from shootings at night clubs to terroristic acts of violence, BUT it’s huge to say that our last massive terror attack was in 2001, almost 15 years ago! We’re so freaking lucky that we don’t have another country’s military lining our streets, that we don’t go to sleep with the sound of military planes overhead and that we have a military that is as strong as ours is. No one will forget 9/11… I remember coming back to school from the Gifted Program and being so surprised that everyone wasn’t at recess. We all sat in the classroom and watched the news as both towers fell. For a few years, we all realized that our neighbors are not our enemies, but that we need to stand united as one. Other countries aren’t so lucky.
Some pretty rockin’ music has come from the US. I mean our country has given birth to freaking amazing artists that the world loves! It doesn’t get better than Michael Jackson, Taylor Swift, Journey, Garth Brooks (I added him on there because my husband keeps saying I need to add him… I’m not a huge country music buff). Not to say that there isn’t great music in the rest of the world, BUT a huge portion comes from right in the USA. Plus, we’re the home of the Country Music Capital of the World and Hotlantaaa!
7. Clean Water
Do you guys know what a blessing this is? Almost anywhere you go in the US, you can drink water from a tap. Now, I really like to use my Zero Water purifier, but it’s not 100% necessary. It was eye-opening going over to Jamaica and seeing signs above the sinks that say “Do NOT drink the water!”. All I can think is, is this even clean enough to wash my hands in? I can’t imagine having to always buy water bottles or use wells to have clean water or truly just not to have it accessible. I try to drink at least 8 bottles of water a day. It’s so good for your health and makes you feel great. Imagine, if you didn’t have access to that…
8. We REPRESENT at the Olympics
Can you imagine being one of those countries who only has one person in each sport that doesn’t even win a medal? I say more props to them for making it that far against all odds, but there is nothing more exciting than turning on the Olympics and seeing tons of Americans in each sport. Not to mention, we rack up on medals. For those of us who aren’t the least bit athletic, we have to live vicariously through our Olympic superstars like Michael Phelps and Shawn Johnson, and it makes you feel really proud when they mount the podium and our national anthem plays for all to hear.
9. We’re diverse
We grew up always hearing our country is a melting pot… although in previous years I think they decided to call us a salad bowl or something, demonstrating our respect for different ingredients, rather than melting into one, but nonetheless, you get the idea. Almost everyone is a descendant of an immigrant and because of that we all have different backgrounds and cultures. It gives our country life and beauty and I love that about us.
10. Cheeseburgers. The Internet. Google. Iced Drinks. The Super Bowl. The Microwave. Post-it Notes. GPS.
Yes, these are all things invented in the USA. Can you imagine a life without being able to Google “panda express menu” or without being able to GPS your route on spring break? Imagine no microwaves… wait, that means no pizza rolls, hot pockets, vegetables you steam in the bag! America has invented some awesome things and I’m sure glad we did.
Even though the rest of the world seems to hate us (that sucks), living in America is awesome. We are free to be who we want to be and overall life is pretty good. So cheers to the land of the free & the home of the brave.
Happy 4th y’all!
C’est la vie,