Independence Day - It Is Time to Reflect Our Freedom

Independence Day is a federal holiday. As a general rule celebrated on July 4, spoken: "the Fourth of July." That's what makes our country marvelous and extraordinarily different from anywhere else in the world. We have freedom! Freedom thousands of Americans in the past had a vision for, the idea of independence they were ready to die for, for us - people they would never live to see. How do we use our freedom? Do we use it at all, or perhaps "independence" slowly became just another word in our vocabulary?

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"I am an American; free born and free bred, where I acknowledge no man as my superior, except for his own worth, or as my inferior, except for his own demerit." ― Theodore Roosevelt

America was founded by 1776 and continues to be the home for people seeking freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the chance to build a better future for themselves and their families. There are no monarchies, immutable caste systems, or rigid hierarchies to stop you from pursuing your dreams. It's fashionable today to mention all of the shortcomings of the nation and write a cheat-list of the government-orchestrated failures. Blaming someone else is the typical trait of human psychology. That's how we are built, and it doesn't matter where you live, in the United States, Chile, or Barbados.

We always have reasons why we can't succeed. It can be skin color, gender, disability, difficult childhood, or sexual orientation. It can be new tax laws imposed by the government, your neighbor who said hello at the wrong time, or the lack of high-paying poetry jobs. There are people who are likely to blame others, and there are people who blame themselves for all unfortunate outcomes. We play the blame game for one reason: we feel disappointed. Then, we can't succeed and attain the promised American Dream. It's personal, it's not about political system or economy.

Yes, things get messy in the United States but if you can find another country where you have the same opportunities to start a business, to get an education, or succeed in the corporate world, good luck! Why do you think first-generation Americans are often more capable to capitalize on opportunities? Because they realize the difference between having "the opportunity" and not having even a slight chance to make your dreams come true; it's a totally different mindset. The opportunity is the starting point. To be successful, we need three things to be well aligned - opportunity, ability, and motivation. It's not easy; it's incredibly hard — to prosper. There are always roadblocks, lousy luck, and people out to take advantage of you, but there is an opportunity for you to at least try your best.

We're a country founded by passionate people who didn't want to bow down to kings and queens or contend with persecution. We argue, fight, and disagree with each other. We're often angry at the status quo and economy changes. That's what makes us great. The opportunity to openly disagree with the government and with each other, and continue to do whatever we want.

"Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your mind. Something you dream about and sing about. Maybe it's not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit, full of books and films you've been to. I'm not afraid of being homesick and having no language to live in. I don't have to be like anyone else. I'm walking on the wall, and nobody can stop me." ― Hugo Hamilton.

Instead of celebrating, we should take the time to thoughtfully reflect just how lucky we are that we are given the freedom to advance and achieve our goals. The United States offers many opportunities, and that's why people from all over the world want to come here. We're a nation of fighters who don't give up easily. There's no reason why you shouldn't stand up for yourself and pursue a life of wealth, success, and happiness.

Happy Independence Day!

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Whether you have been planning a Labor Day or birthday party, there is nothing more welcoming than the great outdoors. There is always a cause to host a nice cookout with fun activities and moon-light parties. Planning may seem like an overwhelming experience, but here are some ideas to make the last-minute preparations easy.

There are no signs of severe drought in California this year, but the state legislators continue to move down the road of water wasting mindset prevention. As a reminder to those residents and businesses who have gotten a little lazy and are back to using as much water as before the drought, water legislations are passing on through eight phases of the mandatory water conservation program. It's Murphy's law: "Just when you think things cannot get any worse, they will." But there is also some good news for Californians. Minimum wage is going up to $11-$12 per hour depending on company size. Women are getting more protection. Illegal businesses of the past are making into respected taxpayers.

Sustainable plant-based sneakers, plastic wrapper-free frozen treats, living algae lamps and spirulina furniture, eco-friendly vintage jeans, and solar panel-equipped speakers sounds appealing to savvy consumers of 2019, but claiming "green" doesn't always mean sustainability. Companies, from large corporations to small start-ups are aiming for the growing demand in organic products and sustainable lifestyle innovations for the less generous reasons than eco-psychologists and nature's enthusiasts. Even the Coca-Cola company loved by millions and according to experts in Imperial College, London containing chemicals "found in rust remover, steel cleaner, and cement" pumps millions of dollars in plant bottles constructed of 30 percent of the bio-based material to meet market demand. To be honest, there are not as many sustainable products as advertised only some of them have a positive net green others offer an elusive idea of being eco-friendly.

As more and more sales are turning from brick and mortar stores to online, it's safe to say most people that buy gadgets online won't even consider purchasing synthetic grass online, unless it's small rugs for patios, garages, utility rooms, or batting cages. But why not? It seems that you can save much more on synthetic turf online than you can when you shop for a lamp or Chromebook.

Dogs love to play in the dirt, and as much as we love them, we have a different attitude towards cleanliness. Dogs mark their territory. Rolling up in mud is their way to show you what they've been up to. For humans, living in an organized environment helps to stay in shape and be more active and healthy. Can you mitigate the differences?

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