Last night I was sitting on my porch on the phone with my uncle who lives in another state. He said, “It sounds like a war zone over there, I thought you said you lived in an area where people don’t have a lot of money.” I had to laugh a little because of the whole tax thing.
But it sure was cool to be able to sit out there and watch all the beautiful fireworks in a 360 degree circle all the way around my house. Thanks, neighbors, for buying a ton of fireworks so I don’t have to. Now, please clean your mess up, okay? In all actuality, the majority of my neighbors do an excellent job of cleaning up after themselves, so this is not so much of a complaint as a reminder.
235 years ago, our founding fathers wrote what is one of the best scathing letters to their current government and after a long, hard fight, won their independence. Now in 2011, some people in this city have started a petition to unincorporate our city. This site has had more than enough of my pontificating on the tax issue and the unincorporation petition, but I just want to say this. I support their right to do this. That’s the cool thing about America. You can speak up and be mad as hell and fight the man all you want, and you won’t be killed or jailed for your opinons.
I suppose, however, that we have to think about what we want for our city, what we want for our lives, and decide what is important to us. For me, one of those things would be the ability to live in relative safety. (I mean, come on. Life is unsafe. There are definitely things we can do to make our lives safer, but a piano could fall out of the sky and kill me tomorrow, and there would not be a thing I could do about it) This is one of the things government is meant to do for us. They provide us with police and fire protection. They give us roads and a clean water supply. They give our children education and libraries so the next generation is always hopefully a little bit smarter than the one who came before.
But with these things comes a responsibility as citizens. We have to hold our government accountable. We need to make sure that they are doing the right thing. We have to be involved, and vote, and talk to our elected officials. And, yes, we have to pay for it. All of this comes at a cost and it is our job to pay for it. I might go my entire life and never once need the fire department to come to my house and put out a fire. But I sure don’t mind paying so one of my neighbors can save their house.
I’d just like you to roll some of those ideas around in your heads this 4th of July. Ask yourself what you can do to make our community better.
And come on out to Patriotic Picnic in the Park and say hi to me, because I will be there. Be nice, though, I’m in a “smack mean people” kinda mood. 😉