“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America….”
Having flashbacks to your high school civics class yet? No worries – there’s no pop quiz at the end of this article. I will, however, ask you to do some examination regarding the things in your life that, as an American, you may be taking for granted.
Our founding fathers and the documents they drafted over 200 years ago have given us freedoms we haven’t had to think about for generations. That’s not to say I don’t take these freedoms that Americans enjoy lightly. The fact is, unfortunately, most of us do. Our ability to easily read this article in print and on the internet proves we have the freedom to access information many countries don’t allow, due to government censorship. What I found while freely accessing information regarding this subject is the list of things that we take for granted is expansive.
Do you ever get into your car to drive and think about people around the world who don’t have the opportunity to do the same? What about the oppression of cultural and religious groups, widespread economic and social inequality, the infanticide of baby girls, violence against women, unequal access to medical care and legal protection, and education not available in other parts of the world? The lists range in impact from religious freedom, the right to vote, and the right to a fair trial, all the way to toilet paper, Starbucks, the ability to chew gum, and Red Solo cups.
We have sidewalks to walk on and functional, paved roads. We have grocery stores stocked with food and corner stores open 24/7. We flip a switch and electricity flows into our home with an actual roof and floor. We turn the knob on the faucet and not only does clean water come out – it’s automatically heated! We have the freedom of choice, so much so that it can be a source of frustration (Where do you want to eat tonight? What should I wear? What do you want to do?). We have the military (and the freedom to enlist or not), police, and firefighters who help protect these freedoms daily.
So, raise your very American Red Solo cup high this Fourth of July holiday, and may the gratitude for our freedom be brighter than the fireworks…. a life and celebration like this can only be found in America.
Mallory Moser is a freelance writer and proud wife of a USMC Veteran