Happy Independence Day Monday, friends!
I know, that’s a weird not-even-thing, but you can bet your sweet bippy I’m celebrating it. Mostly because my work calendar fell weirdly this year, giving me today, Independence Day Monday, off of work in honor of the holiday.
Considering the amount of brews tossed back around the country yesterday, I can see where Monday-after work holidays make sense, but it’s a real boozy year for me if I manage one or two margaritas in a 12-month span, so that practicality is completely lost on me.
4th of July has always been a big celebration. Smalltown, USA comes out in force for the nation’s birthday, and I was raised and steeped in that tradition. There was always a BBQ. Always fireworks, including illegal/ill-advised backyard firework shows. Always a sense of pride in the values of God and country, as it were.
I feel like there’s been a shift in the dynamics of that tradition. Growing up, a person could disagree with a whole lot of things about the government and the state of society as a whole, and still be thankful for the values of a nation formed ‘under God, indivisible’. But the last few years of politics have ushered in such major discord that I wonder about the future of our country. This is a lot bigger than the waves of pseudo-cultures that have ebbed and flowed over time. It’s a radical shift in mindsets that I fear is anything but positive.
I don’t have solutions, unfortunately. I think the problem is complex, and the power and money behind the voices screaming for attention in the political arena is a lot bigger than any one person. But there are voices of reason out there. They’re speaking, and if we can tune out the noise and get to the truth of the matter, I feel like the tide can still be turned.
One of my favorite voices on politics is economist and author William Sowell. He’s not a politician. He’s an economist and former professor. And the man is brilliant in the straightforward simplicity of his arguments. He’s all over the YouTubes, and y’all, he even has an Instagram. Check it.
But if I weren’t actively seeking voices of wisdom in this crazy landscape of emotion politics and polarizing forces, I wouldn’t have even heard of him.
And that’s my point. It’s not enough to turn on the television or pick up a newspaper like generations before us. It’s definitely not enough to scroll through social media platforms using algorithms and paid advertising and biased third-party information to subtly – and not-so-subtly – alter your perception of the news. It’s not enough to rely on one source of information. And it’s absolutely not enough to settle for the Cliff’s Notes. Read the fine print. Get to know the information. Get to know what’s being said by voices of wisdom and reason, and not just emotion.
Most importantly, get to know the people who believe differently than you do. You might be surprised at what you discover about their views.
I know the tone of this post isn’t typical for the blog, but in society that is swirling with mudslinging, hatred, and fear, I want my voice to be one of reason and truth – and most importantly, love.
May your Monday be filled with all of those things, too, my friends. God bless America!