Land of the Free

America, like every country, union, corporation or organization, is easy to criticize. It is easy to criticize because it is made up of imperfect people who frequently do stupid things.

That, and because criticizing is always easy. If it were made up of perfect people we’d obediently and promptly find a way to criticize it’s perfectness too.

But you know, America gives us some good things too. America gives us hot dogs, hamburgers, and corn dogs– although nobody is really sure what the last one is and jury is still out on whether that’s a net positive or negative. America houses the melting pot and I don’t just mean the restaurant.

And of course, America gives us the freedom to criticize it.

Hey, I’ll eat a corn dog to that. It’s a pretty neat thing.

America not only allows criticism, but encourages and protects our right to it. We don’t get unceremoniously tossed in jail for bemoaning our demise in the World Cup or the monstrously long line at the MVA. That I am personally grateful for because I have done both.

Nor does our country allow us to silence each other. I also try to do that. Anytime Oliver expresses a dissenting opinion, I try to sentence him to our home labor camp (You thought you could skip the diaper during Wimbledon? HA!). I’m glad that I have a country that A) does not encourage, condone or allow my temporary insanity, and B) provides an inspiring set of principles for me to adhere to.

Freedom. Got a nice ring to it.

We value freedom of speech and free agency so much because we recognize that it is the ONLY path to progress. There’s no alternative. In order to improve upon something, we must be willing to hear what we are doing wrong. If I ever want to become a better wife, I have to first hear about the things that I’m screwing up. You know, so I can correct them.

So this 4th weekend as I’m trying to appreciate this gift, I’m also making an effort not to interfere with the free agency that the universe has provided and my country has protected. Everyone deserves a voice. Hope you enjoyed your fireworks and corndogs.

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