This week is America’s birthday, and we’re all part of the celebration! It’s that special time of year of sparklers, BBQs, and fireworks. But it’s special for another reason: the tremendous freedoms we have and fight for each and every day. We thought we’d pay special tribute this year by sharing some of our favorite ways to express our freedom and gratitude for it.
This may sound simple or redundant, but it cannot be expressed enough that our current, albeit limited and critically flawed, democratic process can only truly be democratic if we represent ourselves. The best way to do this is through voting, and not just once every four years. Local and state elections directly effect everyone in our community. And don’t just vote, do your research! Voting in ignorance is worse than not voting at all.
Here in California we have the powerful initiative process in which any CA citizen, including you and me, can push for legal change in our great state with just enough support. These law changes are crucial to pushing the envelope of democracy and providing a precedent to the rest of the nation on alternative solutions to everyday problems.
Another way to vote: buy locally. This applies to all levels of economy, but we mostly feel it here with food. We’re blessed with weekly farmer’s market, and our great Chico Natural cooperative, that both host some of the best produce and agriculturally products in northern California, arguably the whole nation (or world!). Each time you make a purchase, you’re casting your vote of support for that product, store, and lifestyle. That’s your hard earned money, your time and dedication that provides the sustenance of life for you and for family. So invest in your local economy, help your neighbors grow, and vote for Chico!
2. Plant a garden
This goes hand in hand with #1. Growing your own food is a great (and sometimes radical) way to break away from the monotony of daily living and reconnect with the Earth. What better way to celebrate being free than by growing your own food, unprocessed, without labels, and totally innocent of third party or corporate influences.
If you’re really into freedom, do a Google search for permaculture:
3. Engage Your Community
The first amendment gives us the most basic and powerful right for expressing our freedom in this country: freedom of speech. This extends to freedom of the press and freedom to protest, but it represents something much deeper and closer to the soul of the human being. The freedom to express yourself freely literally means the freedom to be yourself. Even though we’re preached by the media to be like everyone else and fear peer judgement, the reality is we don’t have to live that way. From the way we dress, to the music we listen to, to starting your own business, we’re free to pursue our chosen lifestyle, within the limitations of modern society.
So get out there! Hold a workshop and teach your skill, hold a public feed for the homeless, start an online forum or Facebook group to discuss an issue important to you. In the immortal words of Mahatma Gandhi:
“Be the change you want to see in the World.”
4. Have Party!
What better way to celebrate than, well, celebrate! Fire up the BBQ and grab an extra pack of lighters. Crank up the tunes and call over some family and good friends. It’s summer, it’s the 4th, and we’re in Chico! What more reason do we need to party!
Happy holidays to everyone and remember party responsibly. And as always, if you need our assistance to save your party from crashing, we’re ready for your call, even on holidays.