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Freedom to Care for Each Other this Independence Day

American flag with fourth of July, Independence Day above

This has been a weekend where we celebrate our freedoms in America. This is happening when we as a country have some fear about losing some of our freedoms. Most of the time we look at our freedoms as the rights we claim as citizens. There is certainly much to celebrate and appreciate as we recognize how fortunate we are to live in a country that has so many privileges, including the freedom to care for each other.

Freedom In The World

I think of how many times Americans have been so very compassionate in the world by providing relief and aid to so many who are in need. I think of the refugees of Ukraine right now and how many Americans are sending help in tangible ways. We tend to think of our rights as to what we get and not what we give. It can lead to a self-focused and sometimes destructive view of our freedoms when we forget that caring for one another is a significant part of our American heritage.

Even as we think of our military operations across the world, we tend to forget that our military consistently work to build and protect hospitals, schools, homes and communities all over the world. The relief and construction projects are often provided to help people in other countries to live more prosperously and in safety.

Freedom To Care For One Another

In so many ways helping your neighbor is a part of our independence. In essence, we have freedom to care for one another. Whether it be in our families, our schools, our mental health facilities, our hospitals, our churches or in our communities I see compelling evidence that Americans are providing all kinds of care for those who have needs or crisis and can’t care for themselves.

I believe that if we were to spend more time reflecting on this freedom and creating compassionate responses to our differences and needs, we could find an amazing alignment with one another as we seek to help those around us even though we may differ in our beliefs, our sense of purpose and our varied political views. Love does conquer all these adversities and “loving your neighbor” is a basic principle of faith and service.

May I suggest that we should embrace the reality that freedom is truly the ability to protect everyone’s rights to a life of safety, protection, equality and to meet their needs. That focus could truly give us a country that celebrates our independence in ways that we could never have imagined. I hope you all have had a great celebration of our freedoms and have been able to care for those close to you over this 4th of July season. May we inspire one another with new opportunities to celebrate our freedom to care!

Gerry Vassar

President/CEO

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