On July 4th the United States of America celebrates its independence. Despite what any mother of a two year old will tell you to the contrary, independence is important.
“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.”
So begins the Declaration of Independence. It goes on to state 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. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes…” The Declaration of Independence proceeds to list the King’s abuses and the reason for their declaration.
This document concludes, “…as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”
It’s inspiring, really, to think about the sacrifice these men knew was ahead of them. They signed their names anyway. Courage and integrity are good characteristics. Rare, these days, but good.
We’ll save the Constitution of the United States of America for another day. However, I’m sure it’s accessible to anyone who cares enough to read it. Please care enough. Let me just say that the ordinary men who framed, organized, and wrote the Constitution of the United States combined federalism, separation of powers, and checks and balances. Not only is independence important, but balance is also important. If you lose your balance, you fall down.
Quotes: Declaration of Independence; Image: http-pixabay.com-en-eagle-america-flag-bird-symbol-219679.jpg