COUNSELOR'S CORNER: Grateful freedom

By Fred Cavaiani

Wednesday is July 4th, 2012. We call this day, Independence Day. We celebrate freedom from tyranny and oppression. In this simple celebration with our memories, our fireworks and gatherings of family and friends, we the people of this United States can experience a sense of gratefulness. We live in a country that is free of oppression. We have a freedom to worship God as we please or not to worship God at all. We live according to rules and if we disobey the rules by harming other people, there are consequences. We have a government that does have ideals though it may not always reach those ideals and sometimes falls very short in reaching them. Yet we do have an orderly form of government. We have political parties that challenge each other to become more honest though at any given time each party has and does their own dishonest actions and attitudes. Yet our government works. It may be flawed, but it works.

The grateful freedom that we have allows two good men (and it could be two good women) to run for Presidency of the United States. Both have ideals. Both are good family people and I believe that both have personal integrity. Yes I do mean both President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney. Their political integrity may not always be a "10' but they are both good men. In this wonderful United States we can still choose two good people to run for Presidency. This is wonderful. It is something to be proud of and to be grateful for.

Grateful Freedom was purchased for us by the many men and women who died in our wars and the many men and women who have served in our Armed Forces. It is purchased for us by the many men and women who serve on our Police Forces and teach in our schools. It is also purchased for us by the many men and women who attempt to call us to a higher way of life. These are Ministers, Priests, Rabbis, and Imams who are dedicated to bring us into a spiritual manner of living.

Grateful freedom gives us doctors, nurses, attorneys, psychologists, marriage counselors, psychiatrists, officers of the law, firefighters, clergymen and women, teachers, and financial advisors, who all help us on our journey through life.

There are so many things to be grateful for on July 4th. One of our biggest struggles and failures in life is hanging on to negative attitudes when there is grateful freedom surrounding us at every moment.

My father, Albert, (or "Gabber," his nickname because he loved to talk) served in the Navy during WWII. His only sibling, my Uncle Bill, served in the army at the same time. They were both married with children when they bravely went off to war. My cousin Bill and myself were toddlers, bouncing around, observing my father in his Navy uniform and my uncle in his Army uniform. No one complained that they had left their families to serve in the Armed Forces. I listened to the stories of those who had died so young, their friends and our relatives, who had been killed in action. Yet I never heard a complaint or a 'poor me' attitude in those days.

Grateful Freedom means being free and being full of gratitude for the freedom we have. It also means treating everyone with respect and love and looking for the nobility in everyone. There is a nobleness in each of us and this nobleness is especially present in those who serve others, Presidents, Governors, Senators, Congressmen and women, Police officers, fire fighters and teachers, just to name a few.

When we stop fostering the nobility of every woman and man and engage in bitter criticism of each other, we forget about Grateful Freedom and minimize the dedication that so many who have gone before us have accomplished for us.

Those who criticize one another without knowledge of accurate facts and those who attribute ill motives to other people without this fact accuracy create a negative attitude which is demeaning and harmful.

Look for the good and nobility in all and you will find it. Look for the bad and negative in all and you will find it. Our greatest heroes looked for the good and let go of the negative. There are great heroes in politics, religion, education, and sports. Become one of these great heroes. It will be the best way to promote Grateful Freedom in these glorious United States of ours. It is our personal contribution to make this wonderful United States a glorious country bringing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all. Happy July 4th to all of you. It is a privilege to be with you. You are all noble and loving and I am grateful to share this with you.


Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeast Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is: and his website is

Published: Tue, Jul 3, 2012