Driving home from Washington, DC last night, I got to see fireworks going off on the way into the city AND back. Let me tell you, even if you miss the official fireworks show in DC, the neighborhood shows are getting to be impressive. We never made it any particular spot in DC. Which is alright for me. I didn’t feel like the hassle of parking in the city. Besides, the place we normally go has people trying their own hand at shooting fireworks. I don’t want to be there when they lose that hand.
While we were driving around looking at fireworks the same way people drive around looking at Christmas lights, it gave me time to think. This year more people have strong feelings about celebrating Independence Day here in the US. Not that this didn’t exist before, the question of who is actually free on that date. And with Juneteenth being recognized as a federal holiday, do you celebrate that instead of this? Both of them? Or do you start on Juneteenth and end on 4th of July (the way people shoot fireworks; I feel like they do the third option for years!)
Recently, my youngest daughter, Baby Girl, and I were debating the question “Should ketchup be on everything?” After some time, she says “…well, I guess that’s your POV…”. But she doesn’t say P-O-V, she says it all together as one word (I guess POOOV is how one would write it). It took about 5 mins of “What on earth are you talking about” before I figured out she was talking about Point Of View. Even then, she insisted that she was going to keep saying POOOV until everyone else gets it.
She reminded me of a lesson I have taught her; people can see the same thing differently. Try to understand it, even if you don’t agree with it. Understanding isn’t necessarily agreement, but seeing things through someone else’s eyes. Their POV. That is where agreement starts. Both sides have to do that for it to work. That would be the beginning of getting to a better place. There are stories if the people who died to make freedom happen. And there are stories of people that died because freedom didn’t happen for everyone. There isn’t, and probably never going to be an all-out agreement about the meaning of 4th of Jul for everyone in the US. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t respect other folks POV. (Or POOOV if you prefer).