Opinion: God bless the USA and party smart

Marking about the halfway point of the summer vacation season, this weekend the USA is proud to celebrate its 245th birthday. Our forefathers wrote and signed the document that launched this great experiment that came to be known as the United States of America.


The 56 men that signed this Declaration of Independence represented the adventurous people of the 13 colonies that had fled to the New World from the oppression of the monarchy in England.


George III served as the King of England and Ireland from Oct. 25, 1760, until Jan.1, 1801, after which he became the ruler of the United Kingdom until his death on Jan. 29, 1820.


The birth of a new self-governed nation was all but unprecedented during that time. The idea of an elected ruler must have seemed like madness to the population. Even so, voting rights were afforded the select few. White men were the only people allowed to vote for much of the nation’s early history. It took the passage of the 15th amendment to the constitution in 1870 to partially correct this notion.


The amendment states: “The right of citizens of The United States to vote, shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.”


And yet women, the founders of families and caregivers of the nation were not allowed to vote until after the 19th amendment was ratified on Aug. 26, 1920, some 245 years later, after the Declaration of Independence was signed.


Women have paid for our foremother’s sin of eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Seems reasonable to believe that when God turned the first couple out of the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed Eve.


Thus began the practice by some men of blaming the Ol ’Lady for everything wrong in his life. Blessedly this is not wholly the case in every relationship.


In many ways, we are fortunate to live in an era where our ancestors strived to make life easier and more efficient, especially for women.


Discussions can be held on which gender men like the Wright Brothers or Alexander Gram Bell set out to benefit when tinkering in their workshops and laboratories. Pure science has no gender or sexual orientation. It acknowledges that while there are obviously two genders, it rarely shows arbitrary favor of one over the other, say I.


Relinquishing control to the fairer sex is distressing to many men. The crybaby in me believes girls often get the blame yet rarely get the credit. When I do good, no one remembers, but when I do wrong, nobody forgets.


Independence Day this year is creating, in essence, a four-day summer weekend. Anyone who can, will leave early or take Friday off, in anticipation of good times, long drives or other pastimes planned for America’s birthday. We can expect the roadways will be clogged with traffic and the Weather Channel is calling for the high temperatures to reach 99 degrees all weekend.


The last week or so, while wishing folks a Happy Fourth-of-July, I have been adding “Be careful around stupid people with illegal fireworks!”


Although smart people with illegal fireworks are almost as bad, a batch of carelessness with fireworks can wreck one’s life in an instant. Fire is a force of nature and can not always be contained. This should go without saying, but I have been saying it all week anyway.


It’s like riding a Harley Davidson. The minute one forgets what danger and damage can befall a rider is the minute bad things start to happen. There are rarely do-overs on the back of a Harley. Be safe, be careful, and, watch for other vehicles. Always assume the other drivers don’t see you sharing the highway. As big as a parked, full-dressed Harley is, a rider can all but disappear in another driver’s blind spot. As much as I dislike wearing a helmet and heavy clothes in the summer, they both have been known to save sensitive skin and lives.


Fire victims and survivors of motorcycle crashes must wish they had been more careful. Hindsight is 20-20, as the sages expound.


Now, since I have attempted to drain all the joy out of your Independence Day activities, I have one more piece of unsolicited advice: “Don’t imbibe any fun substances and get behind the wheel or a set of handlebars!”


The momentary delight of riding or driving while high is not worth it. Don’t kid yourself, friends. You really can’t party as hard as you did in your twenties. Live fast, die young leaving a good-looking corpse is a bad slogan from another, younger era. Make it to the rest of your life by partying smart.


Have a blessed weekend.


• • •


Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing tamijonix@gmtudeail.com or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.