We all have tastes, smells, and sights that signal to us that the long-awaited summer is finally here. For me, it’s baseball, lightening bugs, and fireworks. As a child I attended an annual 4th of July picnic, and seeing friends and neighbors, drinking birch beer (from a keg!), and watching fireworks was the sign summer had arrived.

But when I stop and think about the meaning of the 4th of July, I realize the true weight of the holiday. We proudly sing of the “rockets red glare” at the start of every baseball game, but those rockets weren’t fireworks of celebration - they were real mortars, aimed directly at the heart of American freedom.

As my awareness of our global political climate has grown, I’ve realized that while our country and the things it stands for are far from perfect, our democracy is pretty amazing. Our country rose from the ashes of rebellion to build a society that at its core aims to give everyone a chance at life and liberty. The pursuit of happiness is the icing on the cake. Does this always work in practice? Unfortunately, no. But without the red glare of those rockets, we wouldn’t have the freedom to practice our religion, gather together, and speak our mind.

One of my favorite freedoms is the freedom to pursue our passions, and if we’re really lucky, build a career out of those passions. In a perfect world, work is about more than putting food on the table (though I feel fortunate every day to be able to provide for my family). Our world is full of real, serious challenges, and work is an opportunity to face those challenges head on and make the world a better place.

Sadly, we’re quick to lose sight of the value of work when we begin toiling away simply to make more money or climb one rung higher on the ladder. Our workplaces don’t always foster a culture of creative problem-solving either, instead perpetuating a dog-eat-dog mentality.  

We need talented, passionate people working together to tackle the major problems we face as a society, and we need a work culture that keeps those people focused and engaged instead of burning out.

If our most valuable resource is our time, we need freedom of time in order to contribute the best of ourselves to making the world a better place.

In an era of growing polarization and misunderstanding, we need our most passionate, talented people digging in with maturity, empathy, and a diverse range of professional skills. This 4th of July, let’s take a moment to reflect on the freedom we have to pursue our passions, and ask yourself if your workplace fosters that freedom or hinders it.

At MatchPace, we believe your organization can be more successful if you develop a culture and workday that gives your best talent agency over their time. Want to learn more? Contact us today.