“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security”
-The Declaration of Independence
Happy Independence Day!!
Today, we commemorate the courage and conviction of those who signed the Declaration of Independence, announcing that they would no longer be subservient to the British government.
Signing the Declaration of Independence was, in effect, signing one’s own death warrant.
The members of the Continental Congress were not ignorant of the consequences and personal loss that would result should their cause fail.
This understanding is evident by their final statement in the Declaration in which they pledged to one another “their lives, fortunes and sacred honor.”
These individuals laid everything they had on the line to uphold their belief in the importance, to themselves and their posterity, of political freedom.
How should we, in 2016, honor their sacrifice and carry the torch of freedom?
Sadly, like the British government of 1776, the US government today has largely become a tool for a cabal of powerful foreign and domestic elites to siphon off the wealth of millions of people in order to increase their own wealth and power.
In this perilous situation how will we respond?
Will we follow the course taken by most humans throughout history by allowing ourselves to be subjugated by a tiny elite making empty promises to take care of us?
Or will we exercise a small fraction of the courage shown by the Americans of 1776 by declaring our independence from dependence on others for our well being?
Making a Real Difference
I don’t say all this to promote conspiracy theories, stir up rebellion or generate support for a particular presidential candidate.
On the contrary I believe the solution to America’s woes lies neither in the ballot box nor in the bullet box but rather in the deliberate decision by millions to reaffirm the importance of personal freedom and responsibility in their lives.
Think what would happen if even 20% of the American electorate would direct the energy being squandered on election nonsense into building physical, spiritual, financial and intellectual freedom for themselves and their families.
Think what would happen in the coming years if those 20% of voters, now anchored on a firm Place to Stand, would reach out to help those within their sphere of influence to discover and establish those same freedoms in their lives.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say we’d probably be far, FAR better off as a nation than we will be if we continue to follow our present course.
Providing “New Guards for [Your] Future Security”
Now, I begrudgingly acknowledge that it’s highly unlikely that this humble little piece of mine will make it in front of (let alone persuade) 20% of the American electorate.
However, if you’re reading this you can start with yourself by recognizing that just like the Continental Congress of 1776 you have the power, privilege and responsibility to “provide new guards for [your] future security.
You are not a victim of circumstance, you are a free agent.
Free to make decisions, mistakes and changes.
Free to learn, work, struggle and become more than you are.
Your physical freedom isn’t conditional upon what Coca-Cola or Monsanto choose to put in their fuud products.
Your opportunity for financial freedom is not dictated by the irrational whims of the financial markets or the solvency of the Social Security Administration.
Your intellectual and spiritual freedoms are not dependent on the messages, values or beliefs that Fox News, MSNBC or Mark Zuckerberg want you to see.
Your freedom is a product of your education, choices and effort.
It’s Time to Declare Your Own Independence
This week, amidst the barbecues and fireworks, I invite you to declare your own independence from dependence.
Don’t tackle fixing America quite yet; start within your Circle of Influence.
Specifically, I’d invite you to identify one area of your Place to Stand where you know you can do better.
An area where you can break free from a real or imagined barrier that is preventing you from accomplishing your goals. Then make a plan and take the first step toward becoming independent from dependence.
Unlike the signers of the Declaration of Independence, making this decision will not cost you your life, fortune or sacred honor.
However, if you’re honest in your self-assessment and diligent in your efforts, this decision will very likely, increase the quality of your life, the size of your fortune and the value of your reputation.
And if enough of us have the courage to change ourselves…we might just manage to change the nation in the process.