Today, the people of the United States of America celebrate their nation's Independence Day with picnics, barbecue, get-together with family and friends, for merrymaking. In the Philippines, the country where I come from, we do not celebrate our Independence Day with much fanfare. We have simple parades, programs, flag-raising ceremonies, and, of course, street rallies and marches by cause oriented groups demanding changes in government policies.
I was in Hawaii when I first experienced the Fourth of July celebration. I thought the people were so apolitical because of how they celebrated their Independence Day. Back home, I was active in street demos as a student, and I always associated Independence Day with rallies and street marches. However, looking at how the U.S. government has taken care of its people, I consider the Americans more fortunate than most people in other parts of the world for having been given the opportunity to enjoy freedom and democracy. That is why Americans have this joyous celebration on the Fourth of July - they have a reason to celebrate.
It is, however, a disappointment to hear and read in the news about leaders who have fallen into sexual immorality, covetousness, greed and dishonesty. How can they be trusted to run the government in an honest way when they are not honest with themselves ?
The prophet Ellen G. White said, "the greatest want of the world is the want of men- men who will not be bought or sold, men who in their inmost souls are true and honest, men who do not fear to call sin by its right name, men whose conscience is as true to duty as the needle to the pole, men who will stand for the right though heavens fall."
Each of us has a responsibility to make our part of the world a "better place." How are we doing with our share in this task? Time for change... and it starts within ourselves.