Fourth of July

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We’ve made it a point to live our lives as globally-minded as possible—from educating ourselves about other cultures and travel, to broad-picture lifestyle approaches. We’ve exposed our kids to a lot of the world for their ages, and their school uses an international baccalaureate program to teach a whole worldview on many subjects.

The other day, one of our daughters expressed that she wanted to be from somewhere else in the world, someplace that had a more distinct culture. She felt that our American culture is lacking in tradition, and didn’t have the words to explain what might even be included in “American culture”. In a sense, it’s true. We’re a fairly new country, by comparison, and a melting pot of cultures and traditions from all over the world.

As an exercise in patriotism and gratitude, we sat down with her and talked about what we see as “American culture”, and, more importantly, why we are thankful to be citizens of this country. Admittedly, we’ve found that our taste for other places—our wanderlust—has sometimes left us dissatisfied in our American lifestyle; but as we created an itemized list as a family, we found ourselves thankful to call the United States our home base.

Above all else, we are so thankful for our freedoms. We are thankful to express ourselves, vote, and live according to our own beliefs and standards. As a husband and wife team, and the parents of daughters, we are thankful for the strides our country has made in women’s rights, and our girls can grow up learning, dreaming dreams of their own. We are thankful for our varied landscape, for the opportunity to move about our country freely and explore all it has to offer. We are especially grateful for the things we might take for granted on a day-to-day basis—access to information, water and food, and an abundance of goods that make our lives comfortable.

We still believe that it is best to be a citizen of the world, learning from all humans everywhere, and appreciating all that the world has to offer; but we are overwhelmed with thanks for our country. If we didn’t live here, we would never have the opportunity to live this life.

Happy Fourth of July!