Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday

by Jim Stovall


This week, the United States is celebrating its birthday.  While the focus of the 4th of July has become fireworks, family, friends, food, and a midsummer holiday, it is important to remember why we celebrate. 


The United States of America is a beacon of hope and possibility for people around the world.  As a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, we are imperfect because we are people.  We make mistakes, we disagree, and we debate, but like any other family, we have always pulled together and united whenever confronted or threatened. 


I realize the latest election cycle has left a lot of Americans disappointed and disillusioned.  It is important in America that we focus our feelings of discontent into positive and productive pursuits.  If you are among those who did not like the last election, the midterm campaigns are already organizing, and they will provide you with an outlet for your efforts and energy. 


Democracy is an exercise in compromise which inevitably means that no one gets all of what they want, but all of us get some of what we want.  Just as in our legal system, we derive our closest version of truth and justice by having a jury of citizens evaluate and decide between two opposing positions, our government functions best when the various factions work out their differences in the public forum. 


Democracy is never efficient, clean, nor streamlined, but it is the best chance we humans have to provide everyone with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  You can find a smooth, efficiently-running government in North Korea.  A completely new policy can be imagined in the morning, drafted during the day, and implemented by nightfall.  There will be no debate, dissent, or dispute, but I can’t imagine any of us here in America wanting to trade our turmoil for that brand of false tranquility. 


Even in the midst of the most turbulent political process in recent memory, this grand ideal we call America worked well.  Our greatness is symbolized and lived out when one administration relinquishes control and voluntarily turns it over to an incoming administration even though the two groups may be polar opposites and diametrically opposed to one another.  Our system is not always comfortable or attractive.  It is simply the best one the world has ever known.


As you go through your day today, celebrate what America is and what it can be.


Today’s the day!


Jim Stovall is the president of Narrative Television Network, as well as a published author of many books including The Ultimate Gift.  He is also a columnist and motivational speaker.