Friday, July 4, 2014

Musing over the 4th of July

Last evening I was walking through the grocery to get to the time clock when I saw the sign, "Show that you love America!"  Hanging next to it was a small collection of red, white, and blue star-and-stripe emblazoned infinity scarves--$7.99 each.  I thought about that display all the way home and into this morning.

Does sporting red, white, and blue one day a year show that you love your country?  Is loving your country sort of like loving your teen-agers?  You'll always care deeply about them, but you may not always like or be proud of what they do?  I know come members of Congress who need to be sent to their rooms for a time-out, immediately! And no dessert!

What is patriotism?  Is it the belief that your country is always right?  Is it the belief that for some reason your country has special status with the Almighty, whoever or whatever that higher power might be?  If there is spiritual being who created our earth, would she/he/it love some of her creation more than others? Seriously?  Although my middle child often tells me that all parents have favorites, I think a universal being would be above that pettiness.

I've lived in Denmark for almost a year, and I truly believe that the Higher Power loves the Danes as much as she loves Americans. How could you not adore a Dane?  As a whole they are friendly, generous, neat and tidy, and they rank very high on any happiness scale I have ever read about.  The Danes are pretty darn proud of their country, and with good reason.   By the way, they are pretty darn pumped about their flag, too.  They even use it to decorate their Christmas trees.  It is also easy for young children to draw--red background two intersection white bars.  Have a four-year-old try to reproduce the flag of the United States and you have a real mess.

When I was younger, my sister and my brother-in-law had this cool flag showing the world as seen from space.  That is what they put outside their home on the 4th.  "Citizens of the world," I think they put it.  I have always liked that idea.  It is more inclusive.
Notice that I chose a picture that doesn't have North America
 as the center of the universe.  I bet the Higher
Power really loves the Aussies as well!

When my 17-year-old goes out with friends, I always tell her, "No sex, drugs, or rock and roll."  She knows I mean business about the first two but am pretty lax on the last.  I think we need to adopt a similar admonition for all of the countries in our world.  "No mean talk, backstabbing, or fighting.  The Higher Power loves us all."

Enjoy your long 4th of July holiday.  Remember that Laura Ingalls got to go to town to see a 4th of July parade in Little House on the Prairie. I think I may just dig out my copy for some afternoon reading.

Prairie Sherry

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