America is a great place to live. I have lived in Holland but the United States is my home and I am proud of what we represent, mainly freedom. Now, in the age of social media, we may see and hear things we never knew! We enjoy so many freedoms, including how we live our lives. Just a few weeks ago, on a Saturday morning in late May, I was in awe of two very different American generations and their values. I went to Crystal Court at South Coast Plaza to see my grandson’s photography on display – chosen from various schools in Orange County. Normally, a quiet mall with not much traffic, I could not get over the huge line encompassing the whole top floor of the mall! I asked one of the young adults in line to explain the crowd. He told me it was the debut of Kanye West’s new Adidas tennis shoe! Masses were in line to purchase the $170 tennis shoe. Some had even camped out to be the first in line when the Adidas store opened.
Later that day, I drove to a memorial service for a dear client. He had served his country in the Navy during the Korean War. His co-workers all mentioned how humble he was and always pitched in to help the company in any way he could. He always made sure his family was well taken care of first and always thought of himself last. He enjoyed a long happy marriage and raised wonderful children. The memorial ended with two service women presenting the colors of our American flag to his widow. It was an extremely emotional ceremony. I was struck with the contrast of my morning “Me/Instant gratification” generation and my afternoon “Humble/Saving for a Rainy Day” generation.
On this 4th of July, the pride in being an American should not be taken for granted. We are free to be self-serving, humble or a little of both and I hope our choice is as great as our nation!