• Alexandra L. Edwards

A New Way to Celebrate July 4th and all the Days That Follow

Updated: Jul 5, 2018

writing & photography by Alexandra L. Edwards

The Courage to Take Action for our Health is Action for Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

There are those who enjoy watching fireworks, or blowing up bunches of taped sparklers, on the 4th of July in celebration of Independence Day. There are those that spend the holiday still doing their jobs in the hospitals, fortunately, for the occasion that blowing up sparklers goes terribly wrong. There are those who stay home with their pets, reassuring them that the apocalypse is not occurring, and there are many other ways people spend this holiday. Among some of those ways, could be taking action throughout the day of July 4th to be kind to your July 5th self.

The 4th of July is a day full of fun opportunities. It is also an opportunity to celebrate with healthier and safe choices that won't leave us feeling crumby or missing limbs on July 5th, whether it was from overindulgence on all the tasty food, alcohol, or taping too many sparklers together and trying to blow them up.

Practicing moderation and staying safe are of course important, but we can take further steps for ourselves and others in honor of Independence Day. One of the famous lines from the Declaration of Independence signed this day in 1776 is:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We have the gift of life, liberty, and the opportunity to pursue happiness. How should we choose to exercise these human rights everyday? How are we choosing to exercise these rights?

Too many people within the United States of America are suffering from the "Western Diseases" – a number of completely preventable diseases. We either have one or more ourselves, we're painfully watching our loved ones suffer through them, or we are grieving the loss of someone that was close to us.

You may think that the box of processed food with the long list of unrecognizable ingredients sitting on the picnic blanket is innocent enough, that skipping out on a walk or run outside, not drinking enough water, or missing any other methods towards a healthy lifestyle are not a big deal, but what if we look at this more closely? Could making healthier choices be another way to celebrate Independence Day, still have fun, and experience a greater euphoric feeling?

Another line within the Declaration of Independence is:

“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

With the levels of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, autoimmune, and other "Western Diseases", our "Safety and Happiness" have been compromised. It is within our power to alter and abolish unhealthy lifestyles with moderation, mindfulness, and more educated lifestyle choices.

It isn't to say this is easy. "First World Problems" are actually big problems, but could we fight them with paying closer attention to what choices we make, why we are making them, and learning more everyday on how to live better lives?

What if we celebrate today, Independence Day, with doing our walk or run outside, eating the grilled or picnic food that is a one-ingredient-whole food or made with these recognizable whole foods, enjoy connection with others, and practice moderation with food, alcohol, and sparklers?

Every step we take to improve our health, is a step towards "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”