It’s Gratituesday! The radio normally doesn’t play in the car when I’m driving by myself. Yesterday I turned it on and heard the most surprising sound coming from my speakers. It sounded like a high school band playing The Star Spangled Banner.
I expected some advertisement to start blaring in the middle of it, but nothing like that happened.
I checked the station setting, expecting it to be NPR doing some patriotic piece about something to do with the upcoming American holiday. Nope. Not National Public Radio.
I turned the volume up some and listened to the rest of the anthem. Meanwhile tears came to my eyes as I drove.
What a surprising moment in the middle of my day.
That song, played not with perfection but with feeling and obvious hours of practice, spoke volumes in those few brief measures.
I felt so lucky to have won the lottery that let me be born here, a place that millions have dreamed of and worked at and sacrificed to come to and to live.
I felt gratitude for so many who’ve defended the freedom I so richly and probably undeservedly enjoy.
I felt reverence for the wisdom of those who first wrote the words and signed their names to the document that begins:
“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for a people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another…”
Which document is that, you ask?
It’s the one whose second paragraph begins with these more famous words:
“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.”
It’s time to read that inspired bit of history and of foundational concrete. A reminder I know I need more often.
Here’s a copy for you to read as well. (It’s 1137 words long – five minutes to read, maybe a bit more.)
Just kidding. It’s too tiny. Click here to read a copy.
Also, if you can find some way to let yourself hear the national anthem sometime this week, I’d encourage you to make that happen, too.
My thanks also goes out to a local radio station, 94.5 FM for reminding me how blessed I am as a citizen of these United States of America.
A Word You Might Not Know But Will Now