Tomorrow is the 4th of July! I love this holiday because it is so different from all of our other National Celebrations: Thanksgiving and Christmas are time for family, Valentines is for couples, Halloween is for Children, St. Patrick's day and other holidays recognize the contributions of particular groups or individuals, while Easter is a holiday for personal introspection. But Independence Day is a community holiday for all of us.
But what does it mean to me personally? Of course I think of ancestors who fought in the Revolution or crossed the plains. I also think of those who have struggled and fought so much so that we could be free. And I think of those who are defending our freedoms around the world. But I also think of what freedom means to me.
I would like to recommend a personal habit that I have developed over the last couple years to all of you: make your own personal Declaration of Independence on each 4th of July. Independence Day is ideally situated half way through the year, and makes a good time to rethink our New Year’s Resolutions that have been long forgotten by now! I hope you will all join me in declaring your Independence from bad habits, destructive ways of thinking and failure to reach our full potential. Freedom is worth nothing unless it is used properly- both on an individual and national level. So let’s carry on the fight by using our rights, liberties and freedoms that so many have fought and died to bequeath to us in a way that will prove to them that it was worth it!
“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
-Thomas Paine, The American Crisis
Have a Happy Forth Of July Everybody!