Wednesday, December 4, 2013

MY SEASON OF GRATITUDE: November 21, 2013

Consider the circumstances of your birth. To be born a citizen of the UNITED STATES of AMERICA is one of the greatest privileges never earned by the recipient. From the beginning, an American's life is rife with the freedom and opportunity that others can only dare to dream of. It's easy to take such serendipitous happenstance for granted when one has done nothing to earn what one is given. 

Being fond of words, I look to the words of others to express my gratitude for my own American birthright:

Give me liberty or give me death.

I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.

We the People, in order to form a more perfect union...

From sea to shining sea

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

The solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid such a sacrifice on the altar of freedom.

...of the people, by the people, for the people

Walk softly and carry a big stick

a day that will live in infamy

we have nothing to fear but fear itself

ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country

I have a dream

One small step for man. One giant step for mankind.

Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.

"High Flight"

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air....

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

-John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

With great opportunity comes great responsibility. At the very least, I have the responsibility to acknowledge the great gifts that I have been given.

But to whom?

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