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Independence…

Posted Jul 1 2016 by in True North with 2 Comments

Happy Independence Day Americans!  Here’s to a fun (and safe) July 4th weekend.  And here’s to our country – land of the free and home of the brave.

Our Founding Fathers had a very specific set of ideals in mind when they fought for our country’s independence.  The freedom they fought for seems to have morphed a bit over the years, yes?

Today, the term “it’s a free country” too often takes on unintended meanings and overly individualized interpretations.  Being free doesn’t mean we can do whatever-the-duck we feel like doing.  Pick any one of your personal pet peeves:  texting while driving; parking in handicapped spaces when you’re not actually handicapped (just old or fat); bringing your pet on a plane declaring it is an “emotional support animal” (which trivializes heroic service dogs performing invaluable service to those who really need it).  The list of “I’m an exception” is long.

Today, it seems many of us want to believe that this is “my” country so I’m entitled to make up my own rules – or abide by no rules at all.  I don’t think our Forefathers meant for America’s freedom to mean being undisciplined:

Piloting your own plane may suggest a desire for freedom.  It usually takes a lot of self-control, however, to earn the money necessary to buy your own plane.  And once you are at the controls, concentration and rules are vital.  Undisciplined pilots do not live long. 

Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.

Our country’s power lies not with us individually, but rather our ability to find common ground for the pursuit of our collective, common good.  It’s not about our individual W-2; it’s about how we share our fortune with those less fortunate:

Do all the good you can.

  By all the means you can.

    In all the ways you can.

      In all the places you can.

        At all the times you can.

          To all the people you can.

            As long as you can. 

John Wesley

Yes, America is the land of the free, but as it has been said many times, freedom is not free:

Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it.  It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.

Unknown Sage

We are also home of the brave.  And bravery is found in many more places than just on the battle field.  We witness bravery every day by everyday people, don’t you agree?

And bravery can be found in places we least expect it.  Take comedy for instance.  Joan Rivers was brave in her professional pursuits during an era where women were not treated as the equal of their male, comedian counterparts.  But she was not deterred:

The more successful you become, the fewer people will encourage you and cheer you on, and the more successful you become, the fewer people you will trust.  But that’s not bad, because if you’ve made it on your own, it gives you a chance to say, I did it.  No one helped me.  That’s only two sentences, and that’s good because success is a short-lived phenomenon that’s never to be trusted.  Enjoy it for the moment and then get back to work.  Never forget that work is the reason you became successful.

So let us all enjoy America’s success this weekend.  And then on Tuesday, let’s go back to work – working to make this country what our Founding Fathers and those who gave their lives for our freedom the type of country they had in mind.

GAP

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2 Comments


  1. Nancy Burianek
    Jul 01, 2016

    Phenomenal! Wise words and so very true!! I’m paying this along!!


    • Gary
      Jul 08, 2016

      Thanks – as always Nancy – for reading; commenting; and sharing! Thx, GAP

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