In addition to the Fourth of July celebration, today also marks the birthdate of Ann Landers, the spunky advice columnist who doled out words of wisdom to readers for nearly 50 years. At the time of her death in 2002, her column was read by 30 million people in over 1200 newspapers.

I wonder what advice Ann would give about the state of America today. Since she is not around to dispense it, I’ll take her place:

Dear Ann,
The country seems to have gone crazy. There is violence, intolerance, an impasse in Congress, divisive political elections and all kinds of bad things happening. What are we to do?
A Concerned Patriot

Dear Concerned,
Alas, you are seeing the glass half empty. Especially on this Independence Day, take a moment to look around and see all that is beautiful about America. We are able to speak our political views without ramification, even if they are not embraced by others. We have the ability to vote, and can pick our leaders. There are vast opportunities for education, entrepreneurship, health care and culture. We have amber waves of grain, purple mountain majesties, spacious skies and shining seas. America has much that is great (already!) and if people think otherwise, there are literally thousands of ways to volunteer and contribute to a change. Ah, yes, Concerned Patriot, focus on being a patriot instead of being concerned. Fly your flag high today, feel the fireworks in your heart and do your part to be an active citizen in the greatest country on Earth.

beth triplett

Source of Ann Landers’ facts: Chase’s Annual Events

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