Happy July 4th!

“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.”

I remember learning this in school — the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. This document helped create our nation. Today we celebrate America’s birthday – July 4, 1776.  Happy Birthday USA!

So what does it mean to have the rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Have you thought about these? I have some but not a lot. Often times we take our freedoms for granted.  I hope that we remember how special America is.  How unique America is and how amazing it is.

I don’t want to take for granted that men and women throughout our nation’s history have fought and died for our freedoms. These are listed in the U.S. Constitution.  Our nation’s birth and beginning is listed in the Declaration of Independence.  May we learn these, learn how our nation works, have a say in it, and never ever take it for granted.

Now for a few thoughts on this statement at the beginning of the blog.

What does all men are created equal mean to you?  To me, it means all of us have opportunities to do what we want.  It should not matter how much money we have, what our job is, what we look like, what religion we are, or who we love.

We are all valuable and amazing people. We are all worth knowing and worth loving. We are all worth learning from and contributing to the greater good.  May we remember that and remember to be kind rather than spewing hate and rhetoric against those who are different.  May we practice love, compassion, caring, and empathy to each other and learn about our differences.

For me the right of life is to have good health and feel good, a safe place to live with clean water, shelter, heating in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, enough food to eat, and quality and affordable health care for when we get sick.

I want all children to have enough to eat and all families to be able to provide this for their kids. I want us to be able to have chemo treatments if needed without the fear of going bankrupt. I want us to have our indoor plumbing and running water. I so appreciate and treasure these things.

The right of liberty is one that I think makes America very special.  We are free to believe what we want, to do as we want, to travel from state to state, to work, to play, to be with our families, and to say and speak what we want.

As you know, I am a supporter of the 1st Amendment.  I am in favor of a free media, the right of religious freedom, and to have our citizens believe and think how they see fit.  What I don’t like is hate, calling others fake, lying, or criticizing others who don’t agree with us.  I pray that we can find a way to respect others and learn from them.

The pursuit of happiness is perhaps a little harder to explain.  Since being happy is different for all of us, there are many definitions for this.  The fact that we can pursue our bliss and what makes us tick and motivates each day is pretty incredible.

Interesting that the founding fathers didn’t say the right of happiness itself but to pursue it.  I think they were encouraging all of us to strive for the best, be all that we can be, and  determine what means the most to us and go after it.  We should want to do better for our families, our friends, our children, and provide them with the best.

If this means having to reach out and help one another, I think that we should.  I think we should lift one another up, instead of tearing each other down.  I think we should be there for one another for the bad times and the good as well.

What do you think?  I would love to hear from you on your interpretation of the Declaration of Independence.

Today I am thankful for:

  • Freedom
  • The heroes who gave us our freedoms
  • Great food with family
  • Watching our son swimming
  • Laughter with family and friends
  • Prayers before a meal
  • Our church
  • Our community
  • Ian’s school
  • My family and friends
  • The love of writing and the media
  • Hugs from loved ones

I hope that you have a wonderful Independence Day!  Happy Fourth of July.  May you enjoy it and remember those who gave a day such as this to us.  I plan to do the same.