My Reflection on the 4th of July

 Even with the generosity of the Reggae genre ,singing does not rise to the top tier of my talent bank. 

So it is easy for me to refuse the invitation of join a choir, especially the grievance choir.  Yes, the grievance choir whose music sheet only comprise the down notes of the US experience with its sins being the lyrics.

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As I pen these thoughts, I listen to the joyous laughter of an Ethiopian family enjoying the community pool.  The dad is outside the pool orchestrating a water volleyball game, while each child scream with delight as they vie for dad’s attention.

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A diversity of people can be seen on the lounge chairs occupying the pool’s perimeter; sunbathing, catching up our their summer reading, or plugging some text message into their phones. The pool guard cast a scanning eye to ensure that all remains well. From a passing car comes  the waffling sound of some sweet classical Mexican Ballard music. This idyllic  melting pot scene provides a symbolic backdrop for this American Independence day week-end for me.

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Being in Washington DC during this holiday’s season, gives one a unique perspective on the greatness of the country. The National Mall comprises an all star display of national icons that are in full regale for the fourth.   I thus made my way to the national mall last evening (prior to the coming hordes) to listen to Dick Gregory, a seasoned social critic.

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Dick Gregory at the Smithsonian

He was performing at the annual folk life festival, and took his time to share with his irreverent humor, why  this was such a great country.

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He chronicled his journey in the US with particular emphasis on the rapid expansion of opportunities for all people buoyed by the civil rights victories.  Being on the forefront of the civil rights movement for so many years, his declaration comes with much credibility.  This was a refreshingly honest assessment that will bear additional future progress as it gives impetus and affirmation to further national growth.

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I was again reminded to reconsider the foundational aspiration of this nation. The  inspiring words of the  declaration of Independence and the constitution give energy and vision to so many yearnings and  possibilities.  I doubt Jefferson fully imagined what those powerful words of the declaration of independence would do to not only form a new nation, but to breathe new life in the innate sense of freedom of all mankind.

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

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I relish these moving words , while I also hold a deep love for our native land, and a keen appreciation of my ethnic roots.  My hybrid nature is symbolized by the umbilical cord of a hyphen. I am a JamAmerican.

I find myself being defined by the overlap of the two  cultural spheres.

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The mores of Jamaica and the cultural presence of my American existence shape my  being.

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This will be a dynamic space and that is just fine. It will make me more sensitive to truly  being, and thus make conscious choices rather than relying on just drifting along.

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In the US, we are   constantly re-inventing itself using the aspiration of a great constitution, and declaration of independence to overcome the challenges of each era. That is the secret sauce of its abiding hope.  This is what gives me confidence in this most challenging period.

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Finally, I leave you with this admonition. Don’t take the gust of freedom that we enjoy for granted.  It was earned  and will continue to be purchased by the spilling of precious blood, and other costly sacrifices.

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So as you enjoy that picnic and fireworks, utter a prayer of thanks  and vow to contribute yourself to making a difference that other immigrants even from Jamaica can aspire and wonder about this great country.

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metinking

I am an entrepreneur whose focus is on helping small businesses deploy internet marketing tools to leverage new customers and profits. I believe in the survival of the knitted, and thus champion those who are making a difference in our community.

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