We’re looking at a shortened work week and the celebration of the 4th of July, but look at the broader picture. We all admire the sacrifices made by early patriots like Patrick Henry, who said, “Give me liberty or give me death!” Nathan Hale inspires us: “I regret that I have but one life to give to my country.” These early freedom fighters understood what it meant to give their health, wealth and life’s blood for our freedom. Brave soldiers still contend for our freedom, and we admire their courage and appreciate their sacrifice.
But what’s the difference between fighting for our country and supporting our country? Most of us engage in supporting roles, and there’s an important distinction. We foster change through participation in voter initiatives. We benefit our communities with small acts of kindness and good citizenship. We live up to the spirit of America in our daily lives.
Citizenship 101 is active, not reactive. It is kindly strong, not bullying strong. It is personal sacrifice, not sacrificing the welfare of others. Which kind of patriot are you? As a merchandising rep, you are the kind who works quietly behind the scenes for the welfare of others. Stocking merchandise may not seem noble, but it’s a small act that multiples with thousands of others to create a ripple of commerce for the welfare of all.
Naturalized citizens get it. Check out the naturalization process legal immigrants go through to obtain the right to be called Americans. Perhaps it’s a process we should all go through, because citizenship isn’t free by any means. Being a part of America means you understand and support the cause of freedom, respecting the rights of others, promoting the general welfare. It means you support the Constitution and have a working knowledge of the tapestry of sacrifice of patriots who have gone before you.
When you represent a brand, you represent so much more. You represent respect for the process of bettering your lot in life through working for a paycheck. You represent the importance of commerce as a linchpin in the fabric of society. It makes you part of something bigger than yourself or any one person. It is part of being an American.
You can do much to improve our nation in your own corner of the world. Do your job to the best of your ability. Develop a personal plan of self-improvement, learning more about our history and some of our patriots. Do something each day to improve the welfare of others: open doors, smile, offer compliments, let drivers change lanes in front of you. These small, seemingly insignificant acts of kindness, when performed by thousands of others, become the matrix for a better world. You can be a part of that! You matter. Your work matters.