Celebrations are important. Even the kind that seem manufactured in some way are important. Celebrations give us a chance to forget about our squabbles and appreciate some greater achievement.
The 4th of July is a great example of that in many ways. Every year Americans come together to celebrate our nation’s birth. While the holiday has many historical roots, in many ways it seems like manufactured patriotism. For so many people the holiday is a chance to stop worrying or complaining about what is wrong with America and celebrate why we love our great nation.
Each year that love is celebrated with flags flying (or being worn), patriotic singing, and fireworks. Most people will set aside their agendas and join together in communal celebration that can temporarily capture our attention. As we gather together to enjoy the symbolic “rockets red glare” and “bombs bursting in air” I hope that we can carry over that good will beyond one day.
The true value of celebration is not just in reflecting on accomplishments, but in taking that temporary reprieve and using it to move forward in a positive direction. In life, just as in our schools, we must take the positives from celebration and use them to collaborate more effectively, solve problems we otherwise thought were beyond us, and build a better future for our kids.