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HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

I recently had a dream that I received a double-sided invitation to a birthday party of great significance for a very important entity who was dying (apparently, all Americans were invited).  The invitation was sent by “America’s Moral Fiber” and addressed to me as “One of America’s Citizens since Birth.”  The front side of the invitation announced that the lady would turn 243 years old on July 4th this year.  The invite stated that when she was born, she had been birthed in a magnificent family of fine ideas, but unfortunately, had failed to live up to those ideas, which were causing her very life to be in danger.  The invitation went on to instruct that the birthday party would take place anywhere, anytime on the day of July 4th, and that the menu would consist of picnic food and fireworks.  Attire: comfortable summer wear.

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 212595_600 Bob Englehart, Middletown, CT

 When I flipped the invite over, I noticed the following statement:

PLEASE BRING PRESENTS!  Even though the Lady has everything under the sun (mountains, valleys, rivers, great plains, magnificent cities, bucolic countrysides, tropical islands, a beautiful bouquet of people from every color and gender spectrum, just to name a few), she has lost her way and is in need of specific presents from her guests if she is to recover from the diseases that are consuming her.

Below is the list of presents from which to choose and their definitions in case there is any confusion:

GIFT OF COMPASSION

In my view, the best of humanity is in our exercise of empathy and compassion. It’s when we challenge ourselves to walk in the shoes of someone whose pain or plight might seem so different than yours that it’s almost incomprehensible.—Sarah McBride

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 226955_600 Christopher Weyant, The Boston Globe, MA

GIFT OF BROTHERLY LOVE

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.—Martin Luther King, Jr.

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 211084_600 David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

GIFT OF MERCY

Teach me to feel another’s woe, to hide the fault I see, that mercy I to others show, that mercy show to me.—Alexander Pope

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 225381_600 David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

GIFT OF EMPATHY

It’s hunger. It’s homelessness, often. It’s underfunded, under-resourced schools. It’s abuse beyond the chilling. It’s having overwhelmed parents and caregivers. Those are the things that young people are struggling with beyond our view.—Susan L. Taylor

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 186592_600 Pat Bagley, The Salt Lake Tribune UT

GIFT OF GODLY CHARACTER

I don’t believe a champion is the biggest, baddest, meanest dude in the world. I think the champion is like a warrior; it’s like the head knight or lead samurai: humble men of integrity, respect, and honor that treat people kindly.—Jon Jones

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 226873_600 David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star Tucson AZ

GIFT OF TRUTH

The trouble with lying and deceiving is that their efficiency depends entirely upon a clear notion of the truth that the liar and deceiver wishes to hide.Hannah Arendt

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 225742_600 Nate Beeler, The Columbus Dispatch, OH

GIFT OF INTELLIGENCE

We should all feel confident in our intelligence. By the way, intelligence to me isn’t just being book-smart or having a college degree; it’s trusting your gut instincts, being intuitive, thinking outside the box, and sometimes just realizing that things need to change and being smart enough to change it.—Tabatha Coffey

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 224424_600 Steve Sack, The Minneapolis Star Tribune, MN

***

When I awoke from my dream, I was reminded of the high ideals that had once graced the hearts of America’s founding fathers that seduced all the immigrants who had ever come to America in search of a better life.  That wondrous dream and promise that even quickened the hearts of the Africans (my ancestors) who had been stolen from their own countries to build this nation by the sweat of their brows and the brokenness of their blood-whipped backs, who eventually came to believe in the dream—that their children, too, could live in the majestic promise that all men are created equal. I decided that I would attend our nation’s birthday party this July 4th and that I’d bring the “Gift of Hope” wrapped in the birthday paper of the preamble of the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness….”

CARTOON USED BY PERMISSION: 197362_600 Dave Granlund, Minnesota

***

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THE AUTHOR’S LATEST BOOKS:  Monsters’ Throwdown, Fleeing Oz, The Fetus Chronicles on sale now at Amazon!

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Posted by on June 30, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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