Today is July the 4th, which for my international readers, is merely a Wednesday. For us American’s though, it is an opportunity to remember the freedoms we hold dear, and the men who got together, one stifling summer in Philadelphia to declare their independence. I reread that declaration this morning, and the thing by which I am struck the most is this:
“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.”
Did you get that? They were throwing off the tyrannical rule or George III, in what was to become one of the most significant single acts in the history of the world, and they still took the time to write down the reason. All because of the “decent respect to the opinions of mankind.”
The other part that strikes me is as poignant and important now, as it was then:
“Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. 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.”
People will keep a government that isn’t working, because it’s comfortable, rather then do anything about it, even though “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government.”
I’ve refrained from getting political on this blog, and for good reason, but I think we could all use a reminder today that ultimately we are responsible for the government, because we elect the leaders who make it this way.
Happy Independence Day!
PS. To satiate my need to be creative, I also made this cake!