This is a guest post from Randi Cairns, a fantastic writer whose words I am excited to share with you again.
Memorial Day approaches…
With its sales circulars and commercials promising steep discounts and cheap mattresses.
Recipes offering the best ribs you’ll ever eat and Smack Your Mama sauces.
“Happy holiday” from the sales clerks and Wawa cashier.
And I pass no judgment on how you choose to spend your long weekend.
Because yes, they fought for democracy. They fought for freedom. And they also fought for your right to not give a damn about any of it.
And who doesn’t love a good price or a finger-licking recipe or a long weekend?
But I also know that after the circulars have hit your recycling bin and the grill has been scraped clean and you’ve sufficiently recovered from your vacation, you’ll again perhaps think to yourself at least once in the days to follow, “What the hell is wrong with this country?”
You’ll hear yet another story of politicians who refuse to cross party lines in the interest of the people. Companies that worry more about their bottom line than the people they serve. Hate crimes and school shootings. Proof time and again of all the ways that we act in selfish and uncaring ways to each other.
And when that thought crosses your mind, I want you to remember this…
Today – yesterday – and each day before it, someone you don’t know raised their hand and took an oath to protect you. To take fire on your behalf. To run towards that which a sane man or woman would flee.
Today – yesterday – and each day before it, someone you don’t know died keeping that promise to you. Left behind grieving partners and families and friends.
Today – yesterday – and each day before it, those loved ones left behind struggle to put together the pieces of a broken life. Of promises unfulfilled and futures unrealized.
The world is not a selfish and uncaring place. If you need proof of that, visit a military cemetery.
Take a moment to honor and recognize what they sacrificed. What their families and friends lost. What you have gained.
And then enjoy the long weekend. Shop the sales. Fight the crowds at the beaches. Grill to your heart’s content. Spend time with the ones you love.
And be grateful that you’re here to do so.
Randi Cairns is a nonprofit professional who has dedicated over three decades to advocating for vulnerable populations. She’s also the owner of Randi Cairns Consulting, where she provides nonprofit and small business consulting and freelance writing services. And she’s the snarky but loving voice of Throwing Pots & Pans, coming (one day) to a bookstore near you. Her favorite title? Proud Mama of four children who she hopes will always have a passion for learning and a heart for changing the world for the better.