THE COUNSELOR'S CORNER: Yearning to be free

By Fred Cavaiani

Happy Independence Day. On July 4, 1776 the original thirteen colonies declared their independence from England after convening a continental congress in Philadelphia. This celebration has evolved over the years to mean that we are an independent nation with liberty and justice for all. Each year the fireworks boom, families and friends gather and we have grateful thoughts about being American. England is now a close ally. This day is no longer remembered so much as breaking away from tyranny from a foreign nation as it is being grateful for being a free nation. We think of the Statue of Liberty on a day like July 4th. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free. The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempetst-tossed to me. I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

On July 4th we think of the best qualities of our country: "The land of the free and the home of the brave." Every one of us have come from immigrants unless our ancestors were native born Americans which means American Indians who have always lived here. This country of freedom and independence for all has been a beacon of light for the whole world for over three centuries.

The 4th of July is a time to be grateful and loving towards all because this represents the best of our country. When gratitude and a welcoming attitude is forgotten in families, among friends, and in towns and in a nation, then everyone becomes weakened through mistrust and negativity.

Courage and bravery result from an open heart and mind. The world becomes closer when my heart and mind is filled with gratitude and a positive attitude. People respect people who treat others with kindness and respect. Nations respect other nations who have leaders that promote compassion and respect. A nation with leaders that do this send a positive message to the whole world.

The greatest leaders are the ones who respect others and have no need to assassinate the characters of those who have a difference of opinion. When we have leaders like this, the citizens feel proud and grateful. The world notices with respect and reverence.

Independence Day, July 4th, is a day of gratitude. It is a day of appreciation and respect for everyone.

Please, God save us from people who do not care for others. Please God, help us to be grateful for what we have and share what we have with others.

Keep our nation humble, open and compassionate towards all.

This is the day for all of us to be grateful and happy that we are Americans and live in a country of freedom that much of the world may not be able to experience as well as we do. We are a country who helps others. We are a country who has bravely fought wars to help others. We are a country who welcomes other people to come and live here. We are a country of caring and compassionate citizens.

I think of so many previous July 4th days. As a child I remember the booths of fireworks outside of my dad and uncle's Supper Club. Both of them had been in World War II. I remember the fireworks when our children were small. We were all celebrating freedom though we may not have fully realized the glories and benefits of freedom.

Everyone yearns for freedom. Each person on this planet wants love and compassion. Every person is also wounded emotionally. Our emotional wounds can heal when love and compassion become present. Our nation's wounds become healed when leaders promote and proclaim to the world by loving acts and words, that we are a caring and compassionate nation.

Every nation needs leaders that symbolize and proclaim what is best about humanity and what is best about being an American. I have always thought that what is best about being an American is to have compassion, humility and courage to do the right thing. From my background and my training, the right thing is always about having care and compassion towards all.

I heard a story today about a little boy who was promised that he could have a puppy if he saved his money. He saved his money and went down the street to the home that was selling puppies. The owners had seven little puppies. As they all waddled out the little boy noticed that the seventh puppy was crippled and couldn't walk well. He told the owners that this was the puppy he wanted. They told him that they weren't going to sell that puppy because it was crippled and he wouldn't want that puppy. Then the owners said, "Ok, you can have that puppy for free because we didn't think anyone would want it and we certainly didn't want it." The little boy said, "I understand that puppy. I will pay full price for it." He then lifted his pant leg to show a permanent brace on his leg.

America has always been about this little boy showing compassion and welcoming all because all of us have experienced struggles and handicaps in life. When we forget this, we are no longer a free country. Everyone yearns for freedom. Let us always be "the land of the free and the home of the brave." We become free and brave when we have the courage to show love and compassion to all. We become very weak when we build walls around ourselves. There is always a solution to all problems when Love and Compassion and Freedom are first priorities.

Happy July 4th everyone. My heart is open to all.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage & family therapist and psychotherapist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeastern Michigan he is also on staff at Capuchin Retreat Center in Washington, MI. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is:

Published: Tue, Jul 03, 2018


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