We celebrate our Thirteen Colonies’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th each year…when the genesis of the United States legally confirmed they no longer would abide by British rule.
Independence means different things to different folks whether it be discussing our country’s freedom on a global scale…or freedoms of a personal nature. Life. Liberty. The pursuit of Happiness. All endowed by our Creator with these certain unalienable rights.
In my edition of “God’s Little Daily Devotional” (Honor Books) there is a passage I find relevant for both my own weekend and what I see as this moment in time our country finds itself in…
“Former President Harry S. Truman once remarked that no American President has ever escaped abuse and even libel from the press. He noted it was quite common to find a President publicly called a traitor. Truman further concluded that the President who had not fought with Congress or the Supreme Court hadn’t done his job.
What is true for the President of the United States is also true for everyone else. No matter how small a person’s job may be – no matter how low he may be on a particular organizational chart or in the strata of society – there will be those who oppose him, ridicule him and perhaps even challenge him to a fight. That is why no person can expect to accomplish anything while conducting himself as if he were trying to win a popularity contest. Rather, a person needs to chart the course he feels compelled to walk in life and then to do so with head held high and convictions intact. Recognizing that every person will eventually face the test of ridicule and criticism as he upholds his principles or defends his morals is simply a matter of taking life in stride. Being hit isn’t abnormal, but collapsing from fear of a hit isn’t inevitable.”
The moral…if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.
That is what our founding fathers did back in the day – discuss the crucial options and choices that needed to be made…and took a stand. My hope as we approach this Holiday weekend is everyone governing our nation, regardless of the “color” or “beverage” of their affiliation, return to the focus they were originally elected for and promote action they feel in their hearts is truly best for our country…rather than focus only on increasing their personal brands and promoting action perceived to be the most popular choices. Our elected officials should always stand for what they believe is best and then debate options on the critical issues facing our nation in a professional, educated manner. Common sense yes, but a crisis of confidence has been in place for many years when it comes to political action…or in many cases inaction. Maybe reminding elected officials how our country was founded will help them start restoring at least some confidence in the political process.
And after those debates…they need to take a stand.
As individuals, we not only should demand this of elected officials but elect to do the same in our personal lives. This passage means more to me because I have set out on…to some…an unpopular course of action. In the face of a wavering, wobbly economy I am starting my own business instead of continuing to reside within the “relative” comfort of corporate employment. “Relative” meaning I have experienced not one but two company mergers/acquisitions/eventual moves out of the United States…which cost me my “comfort” on both occasions.
I have decided to proactively rely on myself rather than others…surely to some extent as a result of our politicians’ prior failures to take a stand when it came to exporting products and jobs out of our nation.
Perhaps all of this is totally and terribly naive to think we can make elected office honorable once more. I pray not. Our country requires nothing less at this point in its history.
My wish for everyone is they enjoy their Fourth Of July, give thanks for our country’s freedom, pray for its leaders to debate and take decisive actions…and simultaneously think about what your future personal course will be. Take a stand.