Today is a national holiday in the United States of America - Veteran's Day. I have very fond memories of this day, November 11, as well as Memorial Day in May. When I was a child, my dad was the superintendent for the city cemetery. We lived right across the street. In an odd sort of way the cemetery was my "playground". I became a proficient bike-rider on those streets, sledded down the back hill and picked blackberries near the canal.
My thoughts today are not drawn to those memories as much as they are drawn to the memories of processionals of cars lead by the sleek, black hearses; placing small American flags near hundreds of tombstones; filling the truck with loads of beautiful bouquets and placing those on tombstones for grieving families; and military uniforms and gun salutes.
I was bothered when I realized that my children had school on this holiday that honors the men who have fought for our freedom. This is the first time in all my years of public school as well as my children's that we have had school on this holiday. Does this infuriate any of you? We live in a new state and perhaps this is normal here, but I know for many this is not normal.
Before making any hasty comments below, please let me share how this relates to the journey of living an extraordinary life. . . at least to my personal journey.
I have a choice!
Whether the kids go to school or stay home, I have a choice. While it is easy to be upset at the school district, the state, or the government, the reality is that I have a choice. And what is it that really bothers me? Am I bothered that my kids did not receive another vacation day from school? Would I have done my own "Veteran's Celebration" with them if they had been home? Would we have gone to a local cemetery to place flags, flowers and give honor to our Veteran's?
Before pointing fingers at others we must take an honest look at our choices and our motives. Ordinary people go about looking for reasons to blame others and cause conflict. Extraordinary people rise above, acknowledge truth and own their choices.
Our veterans and current military fight for the freedom of our country. At the same time, we each have the opportunity to fight for our personal freedom by taking responsibility for our actions and reactions.
How are you living your life? Are you pointing fingers from your armchair or are you engaged in your life? What will you do today to rise above the ordinary, acknowledging the reality of your motives and owning your choices?