Bringing this one back from the archives. This year my family will be watching our fireworks in San Francisco. All the reasons I LOVE being an American still stand! Happy Fourth of July everyone!!
Greetings fellow Bliss Enthusiasts. Welcome to joy week!
I couldn’t be more delighted to have Joy week kick off on July 4th. I am so happy to be an American and I am excited and thrilled to be celebrating with you!
As many of you know, I have an enormous soft spot for Ben Franklin and his participation as a founding father of the country has always inspired me. When I read his essays and consider his contribution to everything I hold dear about this country I renew my faith in the promise that America is. Yes we go off track from time to time but I truly believe we have it in our national fiber to eventually right every wrong and be the beacon of possibility Ben and his fellow patriots envisioned.
Here are my top 10 reasons why I love being an American:
- Freedom of Speech. I love knowing that all opinions are welcome and even if the majority disagree we all have the right to say our piece without being hurt or killed for the expression.
- Participatory Government. We all have the right to vote, even if many of us choose not to do so. If we don’t like something we can do something about it. We can gather in groups, we can post signs of discontent, we can protest again all without fear of being hurt or killed for the expression. Read this compelling article about what it looks like in Libya where this is decidedly NOT the case.
- Equality. In theory everyone in America is Equal. We all know this is not entirely true but I love that we continue to work on and move in that direction. Eventually we will get this right! Congratulations to NY for passing their marriage equality bill!
- Clean water. I think it is fabulous that we can go from city to town all across the country and the water flowing from our taps is safe to drink. Anyone who has ever traveled outside of this country knows this is not true everywhere and we should not take this blessing for granted.
- Freedom of Religion. I am agnostic but I like that people have the possibility to explore and practice the religion of their choice. I love the opportunity to know people of differing beliefs and believe we are stronger for including all of it into our national fabric.
- Infrastructure, which although is in need of great repair still allows the free movement of goods, services and my little family when we want to hit the road for a trip. We do not have to wait in endless lines for toilet paper, worry that our new cars will fall into deadly ravines as we drive across town or that food will suddenly become scarce. Our basic needs are met.
- Generosity. I LOVE that America and Americans are generous. We are willing to fight wars when we think there are wrongs to be righted. We send money, supplies and volunteers when disasters hit anywhere in the world. My gratitude goes out to the men and women who are serving and representing us all over the world.
- Anyone can succeed. With grit and determination someone with nothing can make it here. Immigrants can arrive without knowing the language and rise to heights never considered in their home country. Our leaders are our equals, we call them Mr. and Ms. and NOT Your Majesty. Class distinctions do exist but with persistence even the poorest individuals can find fortune here.
- The breathtaking beauty and diversity of the land. This video shares the splendor from all 50 states. I’ve visited all but three of our states (New Mexico, North Dakota and Alaska are to be scheduled!) and have found each one to be marvelous in it’s own right. We are so blessed to have so much at our fingertips without even needing a passport!
- I am American. I was born here. I won the human being lottery and got to grow up with the ideals of our founding fathers etched into my consciousness. When I watch the flag wave, hear the national anthem, root for our Olympic athletes, my heart stirs with gratitude that I can call myself American.
Tonight I will be watching 4th of July fireworks with my family at Disneyland. It really doesn’t get much better then this! Three of my favorite things (Family, Fireworks and Disney) all rolled into one.. It is really going to be a JOYapolooza for me! Which brings me to my Bliss Initiative for the week.
As I mentioned in my last post, I am picking a Bliss Initiative to focus on at the start of each week. The initiatives are concrete things that are designed to help you experience our Bliss Habits RIGHT NOW. I’ve listed several ideas for you over in the JOY Resource Page and if you would like to play along you can use the initiative I am concentrating on or you are welcome to pick one of your own. If you have an idea you would like to see added to our resource list PLEASE do not hesitate to let me know! So, without further ado the initiative I am concentrating on this week to encourage the Bliss Habit of Joy is:
- Do something you love – Don’t just say hi on Facebook, actually pick up the phone and call an old friend, share an ice cream with your child, get a massage, paint your nails… what ever it is that brings you joy. Be conscious and choose joy!
Clearly spending the day in Disneyland with my Family IS something I love. What is it for you? Will you be watching fireworks tonight?
How will you be cultivating the Habit of Joy this week?