Category Archives: American

Day 249: The Value of Our Labors


What are we celebrating today? I mean, what’s Labor Day all about, and what value can I get from it to share with you?

Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez explains it this way: “Each year, Labor Day gives us an opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions that working men and women make to our nation, our economy, and our collective prosperity. It gives us a chance to show gratitude for workers’ grit, dedication, ingenuity, and strength, which define our nation’s character,”

You may be wondering after this long covid-19 pandemic if we will ever get back to the kind of pride that Perez refers to in his statement. But this is American. We started our own country and built it into what it is today. We have never given up on a formidable job, and we will build our country back up as we always have because we are a hard-working nation. We learn from our mistakes and become better and stronger because of it. That’s what I believe anyway.

Reflection: I guess the question we each have to ask ourselves is, are we doing our best with what we have to work with? If not, then do better; if we are, then that’s all we can ask from each other. The most valued thing I heard in Perez’s statement was about us working toward is “collective” prosperity. We are in this together; we are strong, we are innovative, and we are capable.

Day 230: The Value of Humanity


Albert Einstein said, “It has become appallingly obvious that technology has exceeded our humanity.” Wow! I wonder what he would say in today’s world.

I am reading a fictional novel that brings to mind how dependent we are on technology as individuals and in the corporate world connected to all our resources, like electricity, water, gas, even our finances. It’s scary to think what life would be like if suddenly all the technology we depend on became snuffed out. It would be like going back to the dark ages when we had to do everything for ourselves to survive. Yes, what I am reading is just fiction, but it doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen. Many people would die, but I do not doubt that humanity’s will for survival would once again step up to life’s challenges, especially when it comes down to what society can do when we work together.

The anniversary of 9-11 is only a few weeks away. We all remember how that crisis went to the core of our humanity. We couldn’t give enough and found so much love for our fellow Americans. Even other counties reached out to us. I needed to connect with my own humanity and ask myself if I was really living my life or just existing. Was I showing my love and doing what I could for my fellow human brothers and sisters?

Here we are living in yet another time of crisis with the covid-19 pandemic. This crisis is very different. It has shown us how vulnerable our humanness is and how a tiny disease can get out of hand and threaten our very existence. It is the worst kind of war to fight because the enemy is invisible, and its strategy is to outsmart us in any way it can. It has proven to grow stronger in those who have not been vaccinated and has less effect on those who have. They say in war a soldier stands by each other looking out for the better good of each other. We can’t win this war without fighting for our lives, and it depends on each of us being on the same side of survival. The pandemic is not a political war. It’s not a fight against our freedom. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s excellent material for a fictional novel itself. But the bottom line is that it’s really happening, and what we thought could never happen could now become even worse. Isn’t it better for the sake of our humanity to be safe than sorry in the end?

Reflection: * “The power of humanity is the strength of individual commitment and the force of collective action. Both must be mobilized to relieve suffering, ensure respect for human dignity and ultimately create a more humane society.”


Day 227: The Value of Our Heritage


“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots.”

~Marcus Garvey

When I think of my heritage, I hear the song in my head, “Who are are you? Who, who, who who!” Sung by, The Who.

As an American, I am truly a melting pot of various heritage cultures. I can’t say that I represent any of the many heritage cultures that come from my Irish, German, Swedish, French, or British traditions. Maybe that’s why I like being an independent thinker so much. On the other hand, those with a strong cultural heritage tend to feel more grounded in their beliefs. That’s the beauty of our American heritage; we have the right and freedom to think as we choose.

Still, knowing the history of our ancestors gives us a sense of who we are, where our people came from, how they lived, survived, and even died.

My eleven-year-old grandson commented the other day about how much his sister was like both his mom and dad. It reminded me how I often thought the same way about his mother, being a combination of her dad and me. I wonder, is that heritage?

Sunny Morton from the Family Search blog writes that “Heritage is a person’s unique, inherited sense of family identity: the values, traditions, culture, and artifacts handed down by previous generations. We absorb a sense of our heritage throughout our lives as we observe and experience the things that make our family unique.” *

Reflection: Learning about my family heritage has added significant value to my life and opened a doorway into the historical background that has helped me to understand myself better, as well as a newfound interest in history.


Day 185: The Value of Freedom


“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.”

– William Faulkner

Happy 4th of July! What a gift it is to be an American where we can celebrate not only the value of our independence but practice with self-determination the importance of our role as individuals in shaping our own identity and destiny through one’s choices, abilities, and efforts.

Freedom only works when I understand that it doesn’t just apply to me, but everyone has the same right to liberty and justice for all. When I look at it that way, I think, wow, that’s a lot of people trying to live in the same country free to express their thoughts and opinions the way they want. Freedom doesn’t say it’s my way or your way; it’s about our right to express ourselves in a way that requires us to find a way to disagree respectfully.

Reflection: What better way to practice freedom and respect for one another than to apply the golden rule? “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Matt. 7:12

Day 183: The Value of Americans


“This is America:

A brilliant diversity spread like stars,

Like a thousand points of light,

In a broad and peaceful sky.“

George H. W. Bush

* In 1970, the sociologist Robin Williams (not the actor😆) identified several American core values as being:

  • Personal achivement
  • Individualism
  • Work
  • Morality and Humanitarianism
  • Efficiency and Practicality
  • Progress and Material comfort
  • Equility and Democracy
  • Freedom

It’s kind of neat to stop for a moment and think about what it means to me to be an American. I realize I don’t think about it as much as I should. But if you ask me what I value personally about being an American? I’d have to say the freedom I have to be and express freely who I am, what I believe, and what I stand for. I am thankful that I was born in a country where I can experience the kind of freedom God wants for us. I can express my individuality and contribute what good my existence has to offer, hopefully for the better good of all. For me, freedom and individuality are my most important core values as an American, and all the rest are dependent on how well I practice these two.

Reflection: Every day, in every way, I want to be the best example to the rest of the world of how much I appreciate the values my American heritage has given me.


Day 170: The Value of Juneteenth


Freedom Day

As I write my one-a-day value post, I like to acknowledge the special days we celebrate. Today is called Juneteenth. I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never paid much attention to it or, for that matter, heard of it. As I research Juneteenth, I read that this monumental event remains unknown to most Americans. Juneteenth marks our countries second independence day, often referred to as Freedom Day. A little history on its deeper meaning. On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves. The proclamation wasn’t officially recognized in Texas until two and a half years later, June 19 (the name Juneteenth comes from a melding of June 19th.) Another historical event I learned in my research was that just a few days ago; President Biden signed a Bill making Juneteenth an officially National Holiday.

If I could name one value that Juneteenth represents to me. I would say that it seems this historical legacy teaches us the importance of never giving up hope, especially in uncertain times.

Reflection: After learning what Juneteenth means, I’m reminded all the more of a quote from Maya Angelou: “Won’t it be wonderful when black history, and Native American history, and Jewish history, and all U.S. History is taught from one book. Just U.S. history.”

Day 165: The Value of Reverence


Today is Flag Day. A day set aside to show respect and reverence to our county’s flag.

* According to legend, in June of 1776, George Washington commissioned Betsy Ross, a Philadelphia seamstress, to create a flag for the new nation in anticipation of a declaration of independence. June 14, 1777, commemorates the adoption of the stars and stripes as the official flag of the United States. On May 30, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson issued a presidential proclamation establishing June 14th as our national Flag Day.

There have been twenty-seven versions of the flag since its beginning; stars have been added as states have entered its union. Our current version dates back to July 4, 1960, when Hawaii became the 50th state.

Growing up in the ’60s, I remember what a proud feeling it was to stand and say the pledge of allegiance and to sing at The Star-Spangled Banner. It was pressed into our hearts as children to be proud of our country, God, and the Old Glory flag.

What does it mean to have reverence? Reverence is a deep respect for someone or something. When we show reverence for our flag, we offer deep respect and awe for what it stands for. I proudly display Old Glory today; how about you?

Reflection: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.


Day 151: The Value of Memoial Day


I cannot think of any more incredible honor for men or women than to lay their life down for the better good of each other, our country, and the freedom it stands for.

I’ve been trying to honor the meaning of Memorial Day this weekend in my post these last few days. It’s hard to write about something you have never experienced. But I am a mother of a son, a mother-in-law, a grandparent, a sister, cousin, daughter, and friend of many who have served our country. I know what it’s like to worry about them being in harm’s way. I can only imagine the heartfelt pain of losing anyone of them. But the memorial is not about the living. It is a day for honoring, morning and celebrating the people who’ve died while fighting to keep us safe.

Reflection: Franklin D. Roosevelt put the value of Memorial Day into perspective when he said, “Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them.” Today in every way, I honor those who have given their lives that I might live in peace, safety, and harmony with my fellow Americans.

Day 150: The Value of Honor


“No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave.” Calvin Coolidge

What does honor mean? The dictionary states that honor, honesty, integrity, sincerity refer to the highest moral principles and the absence of deceit or fraud. Honor denotes a fine sense of, and strict conformity to, what is considered morally right. * 1

What does honor mean in military terms? “Honor is a matter of carrying out, acting, and living the values of respect, duty, loyalty, selfless service, integrity, and personal courage in everything you do.” *2

From the words of one who has served and devoted his life to helping and supporting his fellow veterans’ transition back into civilian life, he says, “Honor goes to those who have given their life for the sake of others. There is a brotherhood of commitment that develops in shared service where you become like a family. A family that would do anything to protect one another.”

“It sounds a lot like the parent who would run out in front of a car to save their child,” I said.

“It is,” he said. “The true heroes are the ones who live up to that honor.”

Reflection: He also made a point to say as we honor our fallen brothers and sisters by remembering that they gave their lives that we may live ours. So as we celebrate and honor them, celebrate with gratitude the life you live because of them.

* 1


Day 20: The Value of Change


“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” -Rumi

As I was doing my research on the value of change, I came across a few songs from the ’60s that made me think that things haven’t changed that much in over 50 years. But then I thought, that’s not true. Things have changed, maybe not as much as we’d like them to have but nonetheless, we have made strides in many areas. I know they seem like baby steps but I love how Leo Tolstoy puts it into perspective when he points out that, “ True life is lived when tiny changes occur.”

Anything worth a purposeful change takes the time we are willing to put into it. I can’t help but think about how our bodies teach us this same truth. It took time for me to becoming overweight. There is no quick fix as much as I’d like there to be. To make the lasting changes I want to see, it takes time, effort, and patience. It is the slower loss of weight that is going to make the biggest changes for a longer-lasting effect. That’s the way the change in our world works, too. One small step at a time. I remember how my dad often encouraged me, when it comes to change why wait when you can, “Start from now!”

Reflection: I am so grateful especially today as we enter into a new beginning and change in our country. I pray for our new president. The gift of freedom that we hold so dear. I pray for each American that we personalize the changes we can make to create the country we want it to be.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” -Charles Darwin