Today, July 4th, is our country’s birthday. I started the day like I start every day: while still in bed, staring out the window to appreciate the sunrise, I felt grateful that I’m allowed to live yet another day.
I began this habit about three months ago, opening the day with a little prayer of thanks. I’m not acknowledging God or the Buddha or Allah. It’s simply expressing that warm feeling of gratitude I feel in my heart. In my old age, I’ve come to appreciate that life is so precious that I can’t waste even a second of it. And what time I do have I must live fully, and with great joy.
As our country celebrates its two hundred and fortieth birthday, I choose to celebrate this day, this hour, this time I have now. I celebrate living.
Living a life steeped in gratitude, for me, is enormously uplifting. It makes me focus on what blessing I have gathered, rather than agitating on what I don’t have. I have a loving husband, good friends, comfortable home, my writing, and excellent health. I consider myself a wealthy man, and I’m utterly grateful.
And yes, much of that gratitude has to do with being a citizen of these United States. I love this country. I love this life.
Happy Birthday, United States of America.