Friday, July 04, 2008

Independence Day

I seem to be on a roll this week with the blogging, so figured I'd let my thoughts tonight flow into cyberspace.

I try to stay a-political for the most part, especially concerning US politics, but this year I find that my panties are in a bit of a wad. It could be that I just finished paying off the IRS more than 33% of my company's total income in employment taxes, or maybe that we were royally screwed by "the system" when my daughter faced a life-threatening illness. Maybe it's because I've been so disillusioned with America in the past few years that I hate to even admit I'm from the US when traveling or meeting with international colleagues and friends. I'm sick of the cowboy image, but equally sick of the political process itself. So, it's pretty easy to venture that I've been thrilled to see that the generation behind mine is no longer 'waiting for the world to change,' but is actually pursuing a better idea of government. It's exciting. It yields new hope in my heart for the land we live in.

What struck me today, though, is that this time of change, this need and desire to reinvent our government isn't anything new. It's cyclical, and even needed, as evidenced from the very document that we celebrate today, our Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, 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.

Part philosophy, part politics, the Declaration is truly, in my mind, one of the greatest documents ever written. I try to dust it off (via Google search and Wikipedia of course) each year or so around this time and review, to remind myself what the US was founded on.

I have a wide variety of friends, and many are strong conservatives. As you may have guessed, I am not. Thus, I keep my mouth shut for the most part, listen to their points of view, then research them on my own. And develop my own ideas. And I like to think I'm constantly evolving in these ideas (I hate to say they are beliefs – as said so eloquently in Kevin Smith's Dogma, ideas can be changed, but beliefs can not).

OK, I'm rambling. What I'm trying to get at, is that dusting off the Declaration every once in a while is a necessity for each of us as vested citizens of our country, no matter what your beliefs, ideas or views are. As US citizens, it's our duty.

As I get older, I find my "ideas" are congealing a bit, and that it is harder to see other points of view. So one of my many personal goals this year was to search harder, reach a bit further, and find some new perspectives, open myself up to some new philosophies and see if I can update some of my "ideas."

If you're in the US celebrating our nation's birthday tonight, my wish for you this coming year is the same... openness to new ideas, willingness to contribute and that the (currently rhetorical, but hopefully one day inacted) desire for change is not just a flash in the pan, but an earnest yearning and movement to create improvement in our government system. Happy 4th of July!

(Yep, time to figure out where to go to get my Masters degree in social responsibility. I'm so ready, can't you tell!!)

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:21 PM

    I've had fun catching up on your blog :-) I hope you had a happy Independence Day - we usually pull out our books and read stories about the country and this spectacular day to our kids - so they know why Independence Day is such a great day to celebrate.

    I enjoyed your post. :-)