After all the speeches, sparklers and spectaculars, the “Next Day” dawns. I wonder what it was like for Jefferson, Franklin and Adams on the fifth of July in 1776. Did they wake up thinking, “Declaration of Independence – signed. Now, make it happen!”?
When you get right down to it, most of our days are 5th, 6th, 7th and 8ths of July. They are the days after graduation when we need to get a job. They are the days after the honeymoon when somebody needs to cook dinner and take out the trash. They are the days after the promotion when the first deadline looms and a bunch of faces are looking to you for the plan.
If the 4th of July is Independence Day, the 5th is Dependability Day, a day to celebrate the people we can always count on. They are there for the parades but they are there for the clean up afterward. They light the spark for the fireworks, but they have a hose nearby just in case. They put their “John Hancock” on the brave new dream and they show up the next morning to design its daunting execution.
The 5th of July is a day to celebrate our own sense of responsibility or “Dependability” – to realize that most of us really do try to be good spouses, parents, employees, neighbors, sons, daughters and friends – that we do keep making the effort every day to be someone for others and not just for ourselves. It is a day to look around at the people in our lives and be grateful that most of them are trying to do the same thing.
Like Jefferson, Franklin and Adams, we all need to wake up the next day, consider the “dependabilities” in our lives and put our shoulders to the task of making a better world. Each of our lives is its own small country where the future really depends on how we show up on our “5th of Julys”. The fact that you get up every day and engage that challenge is cause for its own celebration. So if you have a little sparkler left in your back yard, light it for yourself tonight – and for your spouse, your boss, your kids, your co-workers – who all showed up today to do the best they could on the 5th of July.
Thanks for that and have a great day!
Music: A Morning After – Maureen McGovern