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Independence…

Posted Jul 4 2018 by in True North with 0 Comments

Happy Independence Day Americans!  Here’s to a fun (and safe) July 4th holiday.  Here’s to our country – “Land of the free and home of the brave”.

Our Founding Fathers had certain ideals in mind when they fought for our country’s independence.  They had a vision for the common man; free from oppression; living in harmony; pursuing happiness.  Question: Has that vision remained intact in recent times?  I hope so.

Today, the term “it’s a free country” too often takes on overly individualized interpretations.  Being free doesn’t mean we can do whatever-the-duck we feel like:

Freedom means choosing your burden. 

Hephzibah Menuhin

One of the burdens we Americans carry is the concern for and the caring for others.  The Statue of Liberty; symbol of our country’s liberty is inscribed:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

I don’t think “breathe free” means becoming overly individualized or undisciplined, do you?  Freedom requires continuous concentration and adhering to the rules:

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.

Pick any popular pet peeve; texting while they drive; parking in handicapped spaces when they’re not actually handicapped; bringing their pet on a plane declaring it is an “emotional support animal” (which trivializes heroic service dogs performing invaluable service to those truly in need).  Does it seem like today’s list of “I’m special; the rules don’t apply to me” is getting longer?

I believe our country’s center of power lies not with the individual, but rather with each individual finding common ground for the pursuit of the collective good for all individuals.  John Wesley believes it’s not about “me”; 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.

Yes, America is independent and 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

America is the land of the free because of the brave.  And bravery is found in many more places than on the battle field.  We witness bravery every day in every way by average people who are proud to be an American!  We inherited that from our Founding Fathers:

John Hancock, whose name has become synonymous with the word signature, has the largest signature on the Declaration of Independence.  It is said that after he signed it, he turned to his comrades and said, ‘I don’t want the King to have any problem finding my name’. 

Laurie Beth Jones

So, let us all enjoy America’s independence today.  And then tomorrow, let’s go back to work – working to insure this country remains what our Founding Fathers envisioned.  Let us honor those with bravery – past and present – those who gave their lives for our freedom; our independence; our fortunes.  Let us continue to make this a country all of us – in common – are proud of.

GAP

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