4th of July

Posted on July 7, 2011

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I’ve been writing some other blogs lately and I was thinking that even though these blogs have not been about being more charming, that I should share them anyway.

I wrote this blog on the 4th of July because it was something that was swimming around in my head. I hope you enjoy it. I’m curious to hear what you think about it:

I’m thankful for the United States because it provided a destination for people all over the world who wanted a better life. All the people who wanted a better life enough to do something about it came here for the big hootenanny. Because of all the hard work and sacrifice of our ancestors, we now have things like Burning Man, rock and roll, the internet, pizza and a bunch of other very useful things that I know I don’t have to list for you.

The people who came to this county were people who were generally inclined to live life in a way that was right for them rather than living the way society was tending to dictate. My great great great grandfather came to this country because he was some really rich guy who’s family owned a china factory and he wanted to marry one of the factory workers. He walked away from an enormous fortune for him and all his future heirs to live a happy life with the woman he loved. If it weren’t for this country he wouldn’t have been able to do that. And if it weren’t for this country I wouldn’t have gotten to meet most of my friends who are from a variety of ethnic backgrounds and who are incredibly creative and innovative.

One of the founding principals of this country is patting ourselves on the back. In reaction, we have many who see this country for its shortcomings. Many of those shortcomings have to do with the way we conduct ourselves as a country. Our leaders have been embarrassing us a whole bunch by blowing a lot of things up and trying to conquer the world. (Though I believe that every government would probably like to conquer the world for themselves.) I also think that as citizens we have to take responsibility for putting our government in power. We elected those guys that are making the decisions many of us don’t like. And if we didn’t elect them but somehow they found themselves in a position of power, we have to take some responsibility and initiative and ask ourselves how that happened. In the Burning Man culture we have what is called a “Do-ocracy.” For those of you who don’t know, a Do-ocracy is when someone notices something is wrong, or needs doing they are elected to fix or do. That doesn’t mean you have to solve the whole problem yourself but what is does mean is that you have to do something other than complain or tell someone else to fix it.

These times we live in are becoming so much less about black and white and so much more about shades of gray. I know we’re all noticing that. And in that spirit I think it’s important to acknowledge what we as a country have going for us and try to accentuate those things. Many of us are desiring change and I want to point out that as far back as the 60’s there have been oceans of change that have really been picking up speed and metamorphosing themselves in very positive directions. We still have much to do but I think if we realize how empowered we truly are and all use the things we know we’re good at, the change will flow even faster. For example, I’m good at throwing parties. You may ask yourself “what good is a party when there are people starving, wreckage and a bunch of other terrible problems.” Well, when a bunch of people come together connections get made, ideas happen and plans get hatched. I hope all those times you were coming to my fun parties you didn’t think they were just a bunch of frivolity and buffoonery.

And one more thing before I end this rant. When you do something you’re good at and do it for others to see, not only will you bring people together ,you send the message that they can do it too. I mean that very sincerely. You know those parties where no one jumps in to the pool until someone else does it first? I really hope you give this some thought.

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