As we awoke on the 4th of July this year, many of us are finding it hard to lean into celebrating U.S. independence. In a country divided against itself where so many do not yet have freedom and independence, where justice for all is a promise unfulfilled…how can we embrace what unites us in an authentic, celebratory way today?
Maybe we can look back at those imperfect “founding fathers” and remember what it was that they did in their context. What imperfect, courageous steps did they take to form a “more perfect” union? Notice their recognition that it would likely never be a “perfect union,” but rather one that continually needs an engaged population to strive for a better one.
Maybe we can celebrate the bravery of those few who were in a position to be able to rise up against the tyranny of their day. Those few who were able to inspire others to join a common cause of overthrowing the oppressive society under which they all lived.
At least for a time, they brought together leaders—from different areas with different cultures and conflicting norms and “truths”—for action toward a common cause.
Today our country’s struggle against tyranny goes on. Our need to build coalitions of action grows. Our need to come together for shared action to enact change presses on.
So, today let’s commit to continuing to reach out both to others like you as well as to those different from you. Let’s work to come together to right the wrongs, bring justice where injustice reigns and continue on this American journey to create an even more perfect union: A Union in which we can truly feel that “liberty and justice for all” is more than a slogan, but is indeed a way of life worth celebrating.
Side Note: Pictured here is guest group “NY Renews,” enjoying a campfire on site last night. Their organization represents a coalition of labor unions, community groups, environmental organizations, faith communities, environmental justice activists and more. They find “inspiration in [their] diversity of perspectives, and strength in [their] breadth of expertise.” Amen.