What is Independence?

This Fourth of July is especially significant for me due to the sequence of events that I have experienced in the last few weeks. After returning from a two-week long journey throughout parts of Europe, my recognition of the word "independence" has been heightened relative to both the wonderful country we live in and how we carry out our personal and professional lives as Americans.

Americans often take for granted how lucky we have it in our country. Here, everyone is given a chance to do what they want to do, reach their goals, fulfill their dreams... Even during the most trying of times, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. There is always a solution to turn to. Family that cares about you. Friends willing to sacrifice for you.

Meanwhile, during my visit to Spain, our stop at a public park was canceled due to "violent" political protests. According to locals, "everything is being questioned" and the entire country is in turmoil. As an outsider, this situation would otherwise be unknown.

As I write this, I am simultaneously witnessing our advanced legal system in action during the highly-publicized Casey Anthony murder trial. Nowhere else in the world would someone accused of such horrific crimes be given so many rights, so many opportunities - no matter the end result.

Meanwhile, I couldn't go into the city of Athens because of all of the deadly riots that are continuously occurring in Greece.

I hope to expand more on some of the more positive and AMAZING things I learned and experienced during my recent trip to Europe in future posts, but on this special holiday, I wanted to show my respect for the country I cherish more than ever - a place that will always pick itself up during trying times - a utopia that allows me to live the life I want to lead.

I plan to observe this Fourth of July with the utmost appreciation for all of the independence I am given professionally, financially, and personally. I am fortunate enough to be able to work from wherever I want, whenever I want. To me, there is no greater level of independence than that. To be able to do what you love, be creative, generate income for yourself, provide value to others, and stimulate the economy through your "work" and "career," is how you truly live the AMERICAN DREAM.

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Happy Fourth of July!