Happy (almost) birthday, America! Let us count our blessings.

1. Maine chickens, for taking farmers to the street. Did you know The Wall Street Journal ran a front-page story Friday about entrepreneurial Maine farmers capitalizing on people’s fear of tick-borne illness and the present unfashionability of science?

Clever farmers are marketing fowl from their coops to terrified urban jetsetters as the “elite forces of the chicken world,” birds with names like Truffle that can help fight Lyme disease “naturally.” Wealthy hipsters happy to part with handfuls of cash – welcome! Unleash a pretty flock in your yard today to protect your family.

2. Winter moths and ticks, for reminding us that an army of small hungry critters can take down a mighty oak tree or giant moose: a disgusting metaphor perfectly suited for today’s political climate. Maybe the little people have a chance.

3. Term limits for president and governor, for proving to be the proverbial light at the end of a very long tunnel. The Founding Fathers get some flak for being upper-crusty and privileged and what-not, but I’m grateful that the men who crafted our Constitution knew a thing or two about the dangers of guys like Donald Trump.

4. Maine’s public servants, for doing their job. Elected officials are easy targets for insult and ridicule because elections force them to be carnival barkers every two years and some of their colleagues are ideologues and, therefore, incapable of compromise and governing.

Most Maine legislators have been working tirelessly for us in Augusta since January, away from their families for long hours, little pay and great sacrifice. The obnoxious, petulant types who grab headlines for saying “no” are not representative of the majority of Democrats and Republicans who love our state and our country and want to do well, and for that, we can give thanks.

5. The food sovereignty movement, for proving what Margaret Mead is famously quoted as having said: “We should never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

The devil eats pink slime. People have the right to eat, buy and sell fresh locally grown food without interference from government regulations corrupted by factory farms and corporations that exploit people, plants and animals. The dignity of all living things deserves nothing less.

6. Lady Justice, for leveling the field for fair play. The one seemingly stable branch of both state and federal government is our judiciary, and we should be grateful for it and protect it from becoming another clubhouse for the rich and powerful.

7. The good guys. In a man’s world when most in charge are doing a very bad job, give thanks to those who are at least trying.

Decisions creating war, poverty, greed, rudeness, anxiety and illness make it hard sometimes to see the unsung heroes around us who are using their privilege and status to bring more into the fold. There are still more than a few good men out there doing their part to be decent, and for that, we should be grateful. Our fate is in their hands.

8. Susan Collins, for being strong and smart now, when America needs “adulting” most. Collins is no longer following in the footsteps of anyone, including Margaret Chase Smith. Maine’s Republican senator is forging a path of her own when the state and world are desperate for leadership.

9. Dogs, for being our friends. There is no greater companion in the world than a dog. Put down your phone and pet your dog. Look in its eyes and be reminded of what friendship and loyalty are all about.

10. People with passion and courage, for showing us what life looks like when one has faith in his or her ability to change the world. Youth and beauty are fleeting. It’s passion that will keep moving us forward as the greatest country in the world.

Those around you who see opportunity and have faith in a brighter future are worthy of a parade. Those who believe in the power and possibility of a better, more just world, regardless of age, gender, color or physical condition, are the fireworks Americans can celebrate.

Cynthia Dill is a civil rights lawyer and a former state senator. She can be contacted at:

[email protected]

Twitter: @dillesquire