Happy July 4th!
I was out riding my bike earlier today and came across the scene pictured below.
As my mind wandered away from my fast paced heart beat and the pain in my various muscles (why DO they make those bike seats so small?), I realized that this picture represents a real opportunity for honest discussion about America.
What you don’t know about this picture is that this house occupies a prime spot for viewing fireworks and that cars typically line up on this street before dusk. Clearly, the message is: Keep Out!
I get it – sometimes people can be rude, sometimes you just want to avoid any uneasy situations, sometimes you just want to spend time with your family, sometimes you just want to protect what’s yours.
I got to thinking, what if we changed the “protection” mentality to an “American” mentality?
Maybe put up a sign that says, “great fireworks viewing, help yourself” – that would certainly reduce any potentially uneasy situations.
What if you put up a sign that says, “feel free to sit in the yard” – what would happen then?
Or maybe take a capitalist approach and have your kids make cookies and lemonade and sell them to the people in the cars – at least you’d make a few bucks for your troubles and probably no one would mind.
In the vein of the new socially conscious business model, you could invite people into the yard and have a donation bucket that would go to your favorite local charity.
Critical thinking, Creative problem solving, Healthy debate, AND Celebrating our freedom in spite of our varied opinions are all part of being American.
And finally, think about this: What would happen if the homeowners put up a sign that said, “If you’re here to watch the fireworks and celebrate being an American, feel free to come around back, introduce yourself, and join us – that’s what we’re here for too”?
Happy Independence Day!