Katie Kieffer
Imagine this: It's the Fourth of July. You are a notorious pyro and your frightened neighbor lady sways you into reading my column on her flashy new iPad to temporarily distract you from setting up your annual fireworks display. As you read this, she is "accidentally" dropping her garden hose, running full blast, on the pile of fireworks you’ve been stashing up all year.

Yes, by now, your fireworks are wet garbage. Don't panic. Keep reading. Trust me, she's not as sneaky as she thinks. I'll tell you how to ignite your neighborhood with a show like it has never seen before. You won't even need to make an emergency run to the tent down the street selling fireworks.

People like your neighbor lady who fear fireworks on the Fourth of July generally dread noise, uncertainty and risk. So, let’s beat them at their own game. Tell Little Miss Scaredy Pants and the rest of your neighbors that you are hosting a can't-miss Fourth of July celebration tonight featuring a “live” performance by pop star Katy Perry in your backyard.

What your neighbors don’t know is that you will be "performing" alongside Perry at your BBQ this evening. Since you only have a few hours to prepare, I’ll help you practice rocking out to selections from Perry’s hit single Firework. Crank up the volume. Here we go:

KATY Do you ever feel like a plastic bag Drifting through the wind Wanting to start again…

Do you know that there's still a chance for you Cause there's a spark in you

YOU There are people in every neighborhood across America—including yours—who are struggling. A man who lost his job. A woman who is underemployed. A teenager who can’t find summer work. Families who have skipped their traditional week-long summer vacations. Homeowners who are ravaged by foreclosures, floods and tornadoes.

This month, consumer confidence fell to its lowest level since November of last year. When people are sad, depressed and angry, the last thing they feel like doing is celebrating. So, tonight, commemorate our adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 by inspiring your friends and neighbors to embrace freedom and become “fireworks.”

KATY You just gotta ignite the light And let it shine Just own the night Like the Fourth of July

YOU This Independence Day, when your friends and neighbors come over for a BBQ, resolve to be a sounding board for those who are feeling down about their financial situations.


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is the author of a new book published by Random House, LET ME BE CLEAR: Barack Obama’s War on Millennials and One Woman’s Case for Hope.” She writes a weekly column for Townhall.com. She also runs KatieKieffer.com.