When Josef Stalin was on his deathbed he called in two likely successors, to test which one of the two had a better knack for ruling the country.
He ordered two birds to be brought in and presented one bird to each of the two candidates.
The first one grabbed the bird, but was so afraid that the bird could free himself from his grip and fly away that he squeezed his hand very hard, and when he opened his palm, the bird was dead.
Seeing the disapproving look on Stalin's face and being afraid to repeat his rival's mistake, the second candidate loosened his grip so much that the bird freed himself and flew away.
Stalin looked at both of them scornfully. "Bring me a bird!" he ordered.
Stalin took the bird by its legs and slowly, one by one, he plucked all the feathers from the bird's little body.
Then he opened his palm. The bird was laying there naked, shivering, helpless.
Stalin looked at him, smiled gently and said, "You see... and he is even thankful for the human warmth coming out of my palm."
Are you thankful for government's hand in your life this Independence Day?