I am hardly nationalistic, but nonetheless, I believe the rights and freedoms our country was founded upon are very important and provide everyone with good lessons on how to live our lives.
Our founding fathers recognized the importance of freedom of speech, self-defense, privacy, assembly, etc. We don’t discuss it much, but at The Popular Man, we sometimes get spiritual. I believe the height of spiritual and emotional maturity is the ability to grant others freedom to live their lives without interference, even if you don’t happen to agree with what others do (so long as nobody is physically harmed of course).
When most people speak of “freedom” they typically mean freedom for themselves and those that agree with them. People on all sides of the political spectrum want liberty – for themselves, but typically not for others. In relationships, the norm is to want to control others. Most people have no real confidence in themselves, so they try to get their way through shame, guilt, and other forms of coercion (sometimes even using the heavy hand of government).
Most people are tattle-tales, snoops, and whiners. God forbid someone else find happiness in a way that offends another person. Whether disguised as political correctness or Puritanical religious edicts, people love to control others. Just go onto Facebook or another form of social media and observe the anger and depression that exists because others are different. The angry gay activist is pissed because angry Christian extremists exist and angry Christian extremists are pissed because angry gay activists exist. Then you have someone like me that gets a laugh from both groups, while granting both groups the right to exist the way each wants to exist (so long as neither harms the other physically).
On this day of independence from tyranny, apply the same independence to your own life and that of others.
Now, go out and find some fireworks and meet some new people!