I stayed at the home of an immigrant to America, in California, recently, when I was there doing the Barry Kibrick Show (the best interview show on earth! – mine will be on PBS in late summer 2014, I understand.)
She had more Fourth of July things around than I’d ever seen before. This was especially surprising as it was, um, still just June. The third week of June.
She told me her story – which I won’t relate here, just yet – but it was inspiring, and gave me a whole knew perspective.
I always think of America from the perspective of those who risked everything, and sacrificed almost everything (all their material comforts) for the abstract ideal of freedom. (In case you don’t know, the supposed tax issues – taxation without representation – had been resolved in the American colonists’ favor. The British just kept a purely symbolic two penny a pound tax on tea in place, while simultaneously doing a bit of jiggery that actually made tea cheaper. It was on this basis – cheaper tea, no other taxes, but the symbolic idea we could be taxed – that my ancestors, including George Washington, risked their lives and many lost their fortunes.)
Here, though, was something much more typical – someone who had come to America for money, and material things.
There is nothing wrong with money and material things, but it is the gravest danger to our future if people fail to realise that one reason we have money and material things is the residual effect of the spiritual idea of our rapidly declining freedom, (which, by this point, we’ve basically lost). Freedom, for which the people who founded this country where willing to risk all their material possessions, and even their lives.
Freedom, which my ancestor, and so many others, knew was infinitely more valuable than material possessions.
Something to think about, on July 4th – Independence Day, not We’ve Got a Lot of Stuff Day. 🙂