Last Independence Day happened to fall on Sunday, a day of worship for many Americans and, as usual, I was at ushering at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral that morning. Because of our country’s deep tension between worship and patriotism, I felt sorry for our dean who, in her sermon that day, had to find the balance between celebrating the gospel and nationalism. She found the common ground in the word “Freedom.”

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A month ago, while flying home from Miami and landing in Atlanta, I felt a terrible pressure in my ear that had me close to screaming out loud. The pain was excruciating and left the right side of my face sore and achy for a few days.

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My parents could be labeled average people, they were steadfast citizens with a moral compass and an honest bias. Growing up, my siblings and I never encountered drinking problems, violence, or infidelity from within our family. I was lucky to have been born to them.

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My business mentor, Charles Fisher, was a prankster aficionado. He did things like poke a tiny pin hole in the side of your soda can, just below the tab opening, so that every time you took a sip it would dribble down your chin. For all new employees, he would leave pink return call slip on their desk with the phone number to a funeral home asking them to return a call to “Myra Maines.” He always had a joke ready for any occasion.

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Synonyms for small business owners: problem solver, therapist, lender, mother, teacher, enabler, enforcer, sympathizer, promoter, communicator, capitalist, and optimist. Take out capitalist and lender and it could be a job description for a preacher or homemaker.

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