Saturday, July 5, 2014
Happy Independence Day!
Today we celebrate our freedom. Our liberty. The inalienable rights of man and their protection by the law.
To be completely honest, I don’t necessarily reflect on the why behind our holidays. Saying “Happy 4th of July” makes me think of red white and blue, swimming in the pool, and fireworks. Reflecting on Independence Day and why I’m celebrating means a whole lot more.
Last night, I re-read the Declaration of Independence, which was signed in 1776. It formally declared the United State’s independence from Britain, who was headed by a tyrrinical king. Here are some main points I picked out:
1. The Declaration was written to justify why America’s leaders were breaking away from England. Providing an explanation established the authors as logical, reasonable people who understand human decency and respect norms— not to mention the beauty of this paragraph. It’s so eloquent.
"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."
2. Human nature (from the political view, at least) is summarized.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,"
3. Specific grievances are listed. The list reminds us centuries later what exactly freedom is freedom from.
read the declaration: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html
I’ve heard it said that as soon as freedom is taken for granted it becomes jeopardized. My hope is that everyone would be able to reflect a little on the groundwork that was laid in 1776. That we would realize that my ability to “follow my passion” is due to the fact that I’m free to do so.
Fellow humans, remember what makes us all human. Love each other. Reflect on what is sacred.
PS. feel silly having cookouts, decking out in red, white & blue, marching in parades, making a big hooplah about a national holiday? I may have. But then I saw this, and changed my view. I see it all as honoring our forefathers and reveling in what is America. Let’s Celebrate!
"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."— John Adams
Did you celebrate properly?