The televisions and talk radio maelstroms of opinion squawk and hawk their wares at us, creating a cacophony not unlike wind chimes that attempt to distract and destruct us from our own free thought.
Listen on any given day, with or to any given frequency, and the complaints stream down upon like a hailstorm we did not want to get caught out in. Bounced off the head and ears at painful pace we listen to the insidiousness...people are upset that as a country, we are supposedly dependent upon...
Japan for electronics...China for plastics...Saudi Arabia for oil...the moon men for green cheese and the jackalope for tourism.
A good question then, if we are so bound to our neighbors to fulfill our needs and (mostly) wants, what is this country truly celebrating independence from? Something that happened over two hundred years ago? Surely, you jest! For while history and tradition give us direction, it is certainly not a map of roads til the end of days.
One might observe that we no longer need all of our neighbors to lend us their gloved hands to help us raise the barn (we just hire our help). Yet, if it weren't for the farmers our gardens would not be so in bloom and our plates would look so bare. If it weren't for the laborers the toilets would overflow and we'd be swimming in our own wastes. If it weren't for the engineers who build us bridges to far away lands...if it weren't for those who walk through the bowels of the buildings in which we shop til we drop and flop in the slop (that makes us grow fat on the rich of the land)...where would we be this day?
Look around...realize all of the people who have made our life, our lives. And for a change, consider saying thank you...instead of whatever crass, snide, caustic, sarcastic, politically-tinged-commentary you might often make. The words taste so much better in the mouth, when the instant gratification of the sugar-coated cursories are not as present in the nose.
This country has made its point heard. This country stands firm, looked up to by many and equally hated (if not by as many people than at least with equal passion). Is that really how we want to be known? Is it weakness to stand down or is it strength to be willing to work together, and try to become even better? Becoming friends with the enemy doesn't mean one assimilates to other ways...but maybe, since internment into the United Statesian cultural machine is what has been propagated by our ambassadors of film and flim and flam, through our crusades and conquests, inquisitions and incarcerations, we do not realize that people of polar differences can still break bread?
Are we so locked in our ways and means that we cannot see the joke in our own plans? Are we blinded by the rocket's red glare? Are we simply so in love with the bombs bursting in air? Is it possible, that if we were to take off the opinions that often attempt to masquerade as truths, that something more akin to parodies, might grow?
So let a better question be begged, and if only someone who flapped their ideological meat traps across the airwaves could answer this for us:
What is this country, or really any person, truly independent from?
While one can claim to want to live off the grid, are there many who would wish to return to light of sunbeams and candles (did you render that fat yourself?), food that comes only from one's own garden (did you set enough aside to bolt to seed that you had cores to plant year after year?), clothing made from the wool of the lambs you birthed (and continue to propagate rather than turn to a feast), and travel by horse and cart (for it is unlikely that each of us would have the means to wrought out a carriage)?
If, then, you are willing to return to those supposed "simpler times" (for if the entire day is about sustaining life, where's the time to watch American Idol on the tube or to be here, reading the simple words of The Rooster's Crow?), please, step up. Let us know how you wish to proceed, and more importantly succeed, in this task. And then please, go and do so, and report back to us next year from a shared terminal in the local library (since you'll no longer have a computer to call your own).
Otherwise, for the rest of us who are not so ready to give back our non-animal tested shampoos in trade for shampoos that are actually animals, a proposal; one that will potentially be met with equal parts ideological resolve and metronomic vitriol.
On this July 4th, 2012, let us write a new testament to the old Declaration of Independence. For it is only when working together, that anything positive does occur. And we must keep that word in mind - together - for none of this is about giving without getting in return, nor getting without giving in equal and opposite part. For nobody likes to feel taken advantage of just as nobody wishes to feel left out. Life changes little from that kickball game in third grade, when every once and a while one ought pick first the least skilled player, because it is encouraging to each to know that when in collaboration they are more than the sum of their individual parts, and that sometimes victory masquerades in statistics not yet recognized on the back of the baseball card, but get unearthed years later (such as WHIP and ERA+ and the more than ironic for this article - WAR). But I digress into the ravine of an Americana boyhood.
Let us call it, then, a...Declaration of Interdependence.
The refrain would go something like this:
When in the course of modern human events, it becomes necessary for all people to shirk off the weight and animosities of the past so as to share in the prospects of the earth, the separate but equal fallacies must be put to rest and the laws of Nature be returned to the forefront, so that a healthy respect for one another can be neither learned nor indoctrinated, but uncovered from time immeasurable.
We hold these truths to be unencumbered by the man-made laws of viable and admissible evidence, uninvented, and with clarity on the place of the Self - that all creatures are created equal, endowed by Creation with the desire to love and be loved, to have shelter and food, and to seek solace and joy, regardless of the hour at hand.
That to secure these rights indicates that already governments and people have usurped that which is undeniable - that none ought be born into suffering. And, although we all are born unto suffering (both in and not in the Buddhist meaning of the word), that for any to interfere with another's pursuit of contentment is tantamount to disaster - not only for the other, but for ourselves.
For the happiness of all, while not yet measurable by the human eye, but possibly measurable by the fine measurements of modern technological equipment, and certainly quantifiable by the human heart, let us go beyond what the founders of this country asked - to throw off the despotism of government - and throw off all -isms that beget schisms between one another.
For if we, as a people, create such amazing things when but few have the means to learn, educate, and create, imagine what would be possible if each had such avenues to explore their potential!
...together, without concern for the color of the hand holding hand holding hand - for it is our common bond and not our diversity which will see us through...
...are stronger than each, individual, alone.
...feel that each death kills a little bit of each of those of us who remain alive.
...are mindful of our actions toward one, for it propagates into our actions toward all.
...hope others will pick us up as we would do for them.
...remind that there is never a need, be it spiritually, egotistically, or truthfully, for us to go through any situation, totally and fully alone.
...resolve that no matter what vote is cast, the vote is a vote to do the will of the people. The person working behind the counter is in customer service - not slavery.
...act in ways that our actions will forgo the need for these silly words. As such, chivalry begins with holding open the door, for the person behind you, even if that person is twenty feet away.
...chivalry leads to decency...
...decency leads to kindness...
...kindness leads to compassion...
...compassion leads to peace...
...and peace means that next year, when my son watches fireworks explode, and the sparklers glow, that he can be celebrating freedom - true freedom - to be he whom he wishes to be - without any need of justification to anybody, but his own sense of being, with the confidence that even if not everybody agrees with the path his steps take, he will be accepted by each and each.