Happy Independence Day, Friends!

4th of July is an excellent opportunity to reflect on what freedom means to each of us individually and as a nation. It is also an opportunity to truly listen to each other and learn from others what their unique perspective of freedom is.

My personal view of freedom is deeply related to where I grew up and what I had learned, seen, and experienced before I moved to the United States. My native country of Poland has a rich history of losing and gaining back its freedom. There were long periods of autonomy followed by many years of surrender to a foreign oppression. Many brave heroes and regular citizens fought relentlessly for freedom often not for themselves, but for future generations.

Today, I am grateful for the opportunity to live in a country where I can make free choices and live my life according to my values, beliefs, and true desires. I never take freedom for granted, and I understand how fragile democracy can be.

On this special holiday, let’s remember that we ALL have the opportunity and responsibility to maintain our freedom and that freedom is not free – it takes commitment, clarity, and courage. Let’s take an inventory of what we currently do to contribute to our freedom; who we align our values with, and what kind of examples we set for our children. Every word, every action, and every choice counts; let’s make these choices with bright minds, open hearts, and the desire to maintain our freedom and make the world a better place for ourselves, for others, and for the generations to come