The places we were born; our homeland, as well as the culture we live in, are “bigger than us” imprints—however far we believe we live outside of the cultural norms that surround us, however proud or unproud we may be to be “American”*…we belong to these systems and they belong to us.
Like families but not.
So as a holiday comes and goes where our shared patriotism is illuminated, now is a good time to look at your place in this—our nation’s birthday is a great time to recognize and grieve the blood under our feet, the wars, the genocide of native people who were here before us, the genocide and enslavement of humans from Africa… not pretty and really easy to forget as the parades and flags fly.
While we are neither responsible for or able to change what happened in the past, we are able to help heal the injury simply by being with the truth just as it is and not looking away or glossing it over—simple, not easy.
SO, today, just post- 4th of July, bow your head for a moment, recognize the cost of your freedom, honor the dead, review what you might be blindly loyal to and also be sure to make a place for anything or anyone you might be rejecting who belongs at the table… and then, return to gratitude and recognition of all that is good and right.
*On another note—maybe this year, as a true act of loyalty and patriotism to America and Americans, decide to stop referring to yourself or this land as America/n—given that our nation excludes entry or residence to most “Americans” both to the North and to the South, it is not an honorable term. We are from The United States, part of The Americas where there are over 50 other countries and dependencies… one among many really shifts our sense of importance—this is a good idea.