Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Red, White and Blue Day!

Before we start our partying this day let's all stop and reflect on what this day truly symbolizes and give thanks for those blessings we're afforded by living in this country. Even with all its foibles and the major need for major changes in this country we still are fortunate to be citizens of the United States. However, let's also remember that if we want to make this a better country we need to "get up and stand up" and make the changes we feel are necessary. Edward Abbey once said, "A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government". So, if we truly love our country we need to ask ourselves, "what kind of country do WE want to live in?"; what kind of citizens do WE want to be?". We must echo Gandhi and become "the change we wish to see in the world". We must be ever vigilant in remembering both Martin Luther King's words - "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter" as well as Bobby Kennedy's words - "Each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope" as we strive to improve our lives, other lives and our country. So, instead of just bitching, moaning and pontificating about the state of the things, get up off your arse and DO something!

We all know that Michael Jackson just died. No matter what you think of the man his song "Man in the Mirror" is truly applicable and so I'm going to include a video that will let you view Jackson singing this song during his "Bad" concert. Now, of course, you're going to see lots of crying and fainting fans in the video. However, there is also interspersed historical footage of individuals who "got up and stood up" for change so it's pretty cool to watch and hear the inflections. If you want to read the lyrics they are also included with this link. Anyway, here 'tis the video:

For those who have forgotten the power of the word – that ideas matter – that words, beautifully shaped, reshape lives - read Jefferson's (or, as I like to call him, Tommy J) words that he penned in the Declaration of Independence so many years ago. This living document still inspires every person on the planet who yearns for freedom. Yes, the world has changed immensely since the days of our founding fathers but the core of the D.O.I. still stands. The following video is a reading of the D.O.I. by a group of actors - since the declaration was written to be spoken rather than read perhaps you'll hear the power of Tommy J's words if you listen to the clip plus it's a really cool video - so watch it!! And for those of you would who bring up the tired arguments about Jefferson, remember that the D.O.I. was written, not as only Jefferson's sentiments for the new country. The D.O.I. was written as the "expression of the American mind". Here's the video:

Watch the clip and let the words inspire you to DO SOMETHING to make this country the best that it can be. Allen Ginsberg stated that "the only thing that can save the world is the reclaiming of the awareness of the world." So, let's all reclaim our awareness, our country and our worlds by looking at the man/woman in the mirror, getting off the couch, stop thinking about just ourselves and become that change we wish to see and that our founding fathers wanted for us.

And, last but certainly not least,