One of the first holiday weekends of the summer, Memorial Day is a time for recreation, and spending time with friends and family, and of course food. Yet not just another holiday, this day has been honored since the American Civil War, as one for us to recognize the sacrifice American men and women made for our country, giving up their lives in military service. Not that I am about to take a somber tone, nor do I feel that the time we spend with our family and friends is less important — to be honest, I’m looking forward to the time off to relax with the fam and the food! As I began to plan for some time off this weekend, my thoughts kept coming back to the people who lost their lives in US military activities. Was their sacrifice worth it? How do we as a nation honor that sacrifice in our own lives? Not that we should have to necessarily visit national cemeteries or volunteer our services to a related organization.
Perhaps it is first in reflecting on the effort and commitment that these people made for our country. And then to ask ourselves, what are we doing as individuals to make our country greater, to be a servant to those around us, and to take advantage of the opportunities of freedom that they have given us in their service?
I can easily get caught in day to day responsibilities and personal challenges that everyone faces and must attend to. Can we rise above our natural drive to find comfort and fulfill our own needs while also serving others? I think we can. Perhaps its as simple as asking yourself each morning: What value am I going to create today?
A colleague of mine summed up it best: