I had a Jerry Maguire moment last night, or rather, this morning – early this morning, about 3:00 am.  Although – it didn’t include me running down to the Staples or Office Depot in the rain in order to print 110 copies of what I was writing in order to stuff it into the mailboxes of my peers and co-workers before they arose for the day.  After all, why do that when you can simply type it on your IPAD and then send it out via social media later that day, which is what I’m doing now.  Oh well, the movie came out in 1996, so what did you expect?

This is actually a special holiday message for the Independence Day that we as Americans will be celebrating tomorrow.

I’m incredibly proud to be an American, and of my parents, both of whom escaped persecution and certain death in Europe during the 1950s, and immigrated here to America.  They considered themselves Americans before they did Germans or Hungarians.  America represented hope and freedom to them, and talk about taking risks!  Imagine coming to a foreign country largely uneducated, without a dime in your pocket, unable to speak our language, all because you hoped and yearned for a chance to be free?

Tomorrow is the 4th of July – Independence Day – America’s birthday.  She will be 244 years young.  Never has there been a more successful experiment in freedom in all of human history, than the USA.  Now although I run the risk of invoking hate for just this statement alone, I am choosing to stay positive with my message here.  By the way – differing perspectives and the freedom to express them – is currently, one of the things that still makes America great.

Here are at least three things my family and I will do tomorrow to celebrate America’s birthday.  Most importantly, we’re grateful to all those who fought and died for our country, and those that still do every day, that affords us the opportunity to do so:

  • Simply spending time together as a family – eating great barbecue, swimming, laughing, watching “National Treasure”, and enjoying the immense freedom we have.
  • Reading and discussing the Declaration of Independence (the kids will love this one I’m sure, it’s actually less than 1500 words, and I promise I won’t lecture them while I’m reading it ?).
  • Thanking our parents – first generation Americans – for having the courage to leave their homeland, and for providing the opportunity for us to enjoy the incredible freedoms we have today.

Check out “Proud to be an American”, the latest episode of my new leadership podcast, “The REAL DEAL” with Greg Kiraly, in honor of my parents and this great country of ours called the USA.  Yes, I’ve changed the name of my podcast after only four episodes in, as The REAL DEAL expresses more appropriately, in fact exactly, what I’ve done my entire life – kept it real.  What can I say, I’m from Jersey.  Check it out this long holiday weekend on Apple, Spotify, iHeartRadio, or right here.

Happy Independence Day!