Greetings to my Fellow Americans on the Fourth of July 2016,

This is Gary Klugiewicz.

The Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. Its usually warm in Wisconsin by this time. The weather coupled with a three day weekend that can be spent with family and friends makes for a great getaway from the stressors and conflict of the real world.

It is also a great time to remember who we are, how we got here, and what we need to prevail in an increasingly hostile world.

We are Americans. I remember a quote from a 1960’s TV Show starring E.G Marshall called the Defenders. You can google it for more information but it started with a quote that I will always remember: “Democracy is a very bad form of government but all the rest are so much worse.” Now, I know that the United States has a representative form of government but the quote still holds true. Our system of government is truly inefficient, problem filled, and, at times, extremely frustrating for all parties involved. The United States is still the greatest country in the world as can be seen by all the millions of people who are trying to get in.

I put the “America: The Land of the Free and Home of the Brave” Quote on the Flag in the featured image for a reason. We are the Home of the Free but to remain the free, we will need to be the Home of the Brave. It is going to take courage to get through these challenging and changing times. Let’s commit ourselves as a nation to get this job done.

One final point, our Verbal Defense & Influences Classes begin with this attempt at establishing a positive social contract. We ask instructors and class attendees to agree to this foundational principle. “Do we agree to treat each other with dignity and show each other respect – even though we may disagree?” We then all confirm our agreement by giving the traditional “thumbs up” hand gesture. Perhaps we should start more of our political discussions, workplace interactions, and family talks with this pre-meeting expectation contracting. Disrespect doesn’t lead to collaboration, cooperation, or even long term compliance.

What do you think? Can I get a thumbs up as means to enhance our country rather than disrupting it?