Grand Avenue (7/4/10)

It’s easy to feel small while watching a fireworks display; the mid-air explosions provide plenty of thrills, but they also manage to put us (quite flammable) humans in our place. Something else that puts me in my place is the American notion of independence. I try my best to be self-sufficient, but when I stop to think about it, I realize that virtually everything I depend on is provided to me by others. My water? I can turn on a tap, but I wouldn’t know the first thing about digging a well. My food? I can shop at the supermarket, but I’ve never had to raise livestock or grow vegetables. My shelter? I can pay the mortgage every month, but I’ve never built four walls and a roof. And don’t even get me started on electricity, heating gas, and transportation. It’s enough to make me feel very dependent, even on Independence Day.

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