Opression, Hope and what the 4th of July means to me

Yes, I’m two days late, but the other day was the 236th Birthday of my country. Not everybody likes the USA and in certain aspects I can understand. One thing is certain, however, over two hundred and thirty years ago the odds were against a group of colonies, people who had left their homeland and everything they’ve ever known to make a new life and with a fresh start. Imagine the overwhelming feeling of taking on the most powerful military in the world in the Revolutionary war. Then the daunting task of creating a government from scratch with the sparring and debating involved, while the founders carved out what we now know as the Constitution. Through Faith, Perseverance, Divine Providence and a deep conviction that we have inalienable rights which cannot be denied, they succeeded and won their freedom from the most powerful empire in the world.

Being a great grand-daughter of immigrants, I am grateful my ancestors were able to come to America to be part of the freedom that courageous people had won. I am grateful that when my ancestors decided to escape oppression there was somewhere for them to come and there was hope for a new life. When I celebrate the 4th it is not just for pride in my country but for hope in humanity. Hope that someday it will universally be realized that ALL are truly created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

The following are pictures of my great-grandpa Paul Jacobs. He came from Slovakia to America when he was 14. Years later went back to bring his parents to America who didn’t want to leave the grandmother (Bábuška in front of the house in a dark dress). They later left Slovakia after the grandmother passed away, I think in the 1940s. Beatrix Mana, my mom and author of the blog http://babydogogos.wordpress.com, will correct me if I’m wrong.

 

Great-Grandpa Jacobs (left) in front of his restaurant in Cleveland.

 Great-Grandpa and Great-Grandma “Jake”

Great-Grandpa Jake with his two sons Leo (center) and Ray (my grandpa Jake) (left).

Along with countless other people like him, Paul Jacobs was given a chance to work hard and give his family a good life; a life that probably would have been completely different in his homeland. I am grateful that I am here today, an American with my own family to raise and make a good home for and celebrating the hope that American Independence means to me.

Train Wreckage

I heard something today that is just sticking with me in a bad way. Actually I heard something and read something else that I am just haunted with. Two totally unrelated stories. Two human tragedies. Or tragedies in the making. I won’t delve into what they are. But I can’t help feeling like a person watching trains barreling toward each other and there is nothing I can do. Absolutely nothing in my power of doing will change events that are all but destined to occur.

The thing that haunts me most are the innocents that are along for the ride on these trains. The ones that will be damaged, irreparably, from the carelessness and selfishness of people who are themselves so damaged and broken, they can’t see beyond their own desires and need for self gratification.

I can’t change what is bound to happen, things that are out of my control. Could I, though, pray for the healing of those innocents that are in the wreckage? Is there really hope for them? Do they stand a chance in the drama unfolding? I would like to think so. But I can only hope.