A Celebration of Independence

Happy Independence Day, to our readers in the USA!
A celebration of our statement of independence, and the war that resulted in the sovereignty of the United States of America.
People also tend to use the 4th of July as a day to show gratitude to the men and women who have given up a part of themselves (some, even more) in defense of our rights and liberties. And, we use it as a way to, generally, say “Happy Birthday, America!”

These are all great sentiments. The movement of an entire group of people, standing up for their freedom and liberties, and declaring a strict opposition to tyranny and unjust taxation, demanding to be seen as a sovereign nation in the eyes of the world. A nation born under freedom, for all white men and their property to be protected from the taxation and oversight of a king in a far away land.

This is not a bitter post, nor a critique of what it took the United States, as a nation, to be born and thrive through the ages. Yes, there is truth that the reason we exist as a nation is because our forefathers didn’t want to pay the King of England any more taxes. But that is simplistic, and not a fair shot to take at our country on our birthday. There were more far-reaching reasons why the Declaration of Independence was formed and distributed.

Now, lets fast forward to today, July 4, 2017: 241 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. What is our country like today? Well, since the signing in 1776, we have abolished slavery, granted ALL men, and later women, the right to vote. We have sent people to the moon, we have built monuments, we have achieved greatness. We have also fought wars in other countries, engaged in illegal activities to subvert other governments to create instability, and most recently, elected an unfit president, with allegations of foreign and internal tampering with our elections.

And, let’s not forget the continued waste of life and resources that is the War on Drugs. Unfairly waged against minorities and groups that were seen as “subversive”, the War on Drugs has prevented us from moving forward as a nation and a planet for far too long.

In this modern US of A, we have about half of all states agree and legislate for sensible medical cannabis laws. We have another handful of states (and the District of Columbia) that agree adult-use of cannabis should be made safely available. And we have a federal government (not just the current administration) which refuses to accept science and common sense, classifying cannabis as a Schedule 1 Narcotic with no medical benefit. Drug prosecutions continue. People are still stopped and harassed, and sometimes murdered, as a result of being the wrong race or possessing the wrong plant. This is not progress, nor is it freedom from tyranny. However, we do have a lot of “awakened” individuals in this nation of ours. Some even sit in positions of power, and can help shape and change outdated and biased laws. And, there are a LOT of us.

So, what can we do on this 4th of July… this Birthday for our Nation? We can celebrate a fun summer holiday with friends and family. We can remember those who gave of themselves for our nation, and we can be thankful to whomever we choose for the right to celebrate life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We can also remain vigilant, and open about what we see and how we want to change it. Refusing to give in to “old” methods and excuses, in favor of truth and an openness to hear new ideas. We can organize and stand tall, knowing that we DO make sense, and that we CAN change things. We can continue to shine a light on the wrongs that occur, refusing to live in fear and acting out of hate of the unknown.

And, we can love. Love for your family, love for your friends, love for your neighbor, love for the person in need. Light, love and honesty. Sounds a little better to me than, “Light Fuse and Get Away.”