242. That’s the number of candles on America’s birthday cake this year. If America made a wish before blowing out the candles, don’t you wonder what it might have been?

After giving it some thought, I have a few ideas.

If it were me, I would wish for fewer headlines about the people who are most in the news these days, and more about people like the man who returned my nephew’s lost wallet a few weeks ago. My nephew figured it must have fallen out of his pocket in the parking lot at Wal-Mart, but after retracing his steps and checking at the service desk in the store, there was no sign of his wallet. When the man who found it called him and returned it, everything was still in the wallet – driver’s license, school and other IDs, credit cards, gift cards, and cash. My sister told me that the man wouldn’t take so much as the $20 reward offered to him. The only thing he accepted was a hug and a heartfelt thank you.

Or I might wish that everyone in the country would start living by that old adage that says, “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” That would sure change the tone of many news, sports, and reality shows, and would completely eliminate nasty campaign ads. Plus, if people had to say nice things about others in order to say anything at all about them, maybe we’d all start looking for the positive qualities and attributes in others, instead of just focusing on the negative ones.

Another good wish would be for all of us to take our eyes off our devices long enough to start paying more attention to our surroundings and our environment. And, for that matter, to do a better job of cleaning up the messes we make – in our immediate surroundings and the larger environment. Who knows? If we started doing a better job of taking care of Mother Nature, maybe she’d ease up on things like the hurricanes, floods, wildfires, and volcanic eruptions we’ve been seeing so many of lately.

Obviously, I’m projecting my own thoughts and ideas here, and expressing some of the wishes I would have if I were America. Which I am, actually. And so are you.

So tell me, if you were the one blowing out 242 candles on your birthday cake this 4th of July, what – other than having enough breath to do so – would you wish for?

July 6, 2018
©Betty Liedtke, 2018

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