Independence is much on my thoughts today, Independence is very important to me. To be able to live on my own terms, doing what I need to in order to be happy.
Free to collect and display toys, free to eschew anyone who disapproves, Free to tell wild stories, to fall down cultural rabbit-holes and clamber back out, a little wiser and a lot more disturbed.
But that isn't independence. that is free will, and self confidence.
The problem with independence is that independence is a myth. We are all connected to one another in this world, We all depend on one another, and sometimes we lean very heavily indeed. We measure ourselves by our fellow beings, we depend on them to be there for companionship, for compassion, and sometimes for better judgement.
I need my Family, I need my friends, I need people I don't even know and haven't met for things I can't yet imagine. While I have been variously blind or suffocating, my sisters, parents, daughter, nieces and nephews have given me rides, or called, just to talk.
We need our neighbors, or the stranger who tells you to step ahead in line because you are carrying three items and she is carrying 10. Or even just the guy who smiles and nods, acknowledging you are a fellow human
Now, on to America. America needs it's neighbors. We need Mexico, Canada, Europe. We need the richness of other cultures so we don't stagnate, We need the competition of people who have gotten more proficient than us at something we used to excel at. We need other people.
America is like a great big friendly dog. We want to be liked, so we come to you wagging our tail. It's hard for us to understand that we are WAY too big to be up on the couch, or on Aunt Ethels lap, We don't understand when you kick us, or brandish a rolled up newspaper. We just want you to love us. So when we get kicked, you get demagogues, and oligarchs, and theocrats, and America goes a little crazy for a while.
And all the other nations need us. We all, every country, every person, need each other.
Happy Fourth of July.
As an added bonus- I took a couple of pics of a couple of my favorite american icons. Hopefully I will have the juice for a full on photo set soon