Whether you are spending a lot of time with family and friends around a barbeque grill, or planning on joining the crowds for your local fireworks festivities, hopefully you’re having a great time and not stuck in traffic or a security line at an airport (a record-breaking number of Americans are travelling this July 4 weekend, purportedly because of record low gas prices).

During our modern day festivities it can be easy to forget that the United State’s independence from Britain 240 years ago after the American Revolution launched one of the greatest political experiments in the history of the world. This year, Independence Day comes less than two weeks after the recent “Brexit” vote by the people of the United Kingdom to pursue a political separation of it’s own – this time from it’s formal political union with the European Union.

Whatever your opinion of Brexit, it’s an important reminder that politics is never 100% predictable. With a potentially history-making U.S. Presidential election happening this November in which a female Presidential nominee currently leads the polls, the Supreme Court’s decision this week striking down certain restrictions on abortion, and the Pentagon’s decision a few days ago to allow transgender people to openly serve in the armed forces, things are stirring when it comes to women’s and others’ equal rights.

It’s always hard to know what the future will bring, but one thing is for sure: some things that seemed impossible just a few years ago in America (such as paid family leave and the groundswell of support for gay marriage) appear to be changing. Americans live in one of the world’s greatest democracies and these recent developments are a good reminder that our combined voices can – and do - make a real difference.

Happy Fourth of July to you and yours!


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