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July 4, 2017

The Declaration of Individuality

“All men are created equal.”
(Thomas Jefferson)

 

For those of us in these United States, Happy 4th of July. We call this Independence Day, for it celebrates the courageous signing of that fateful document, the Declaration of Independence. I admire that document so much I actually have a framed parchment copy in both my office and my home.

 

It is a bit misnamed, however.

 

The reality is that soon after the Revolutionary War with Britain, we were trading with them, and many other countries, for some much needed supplies and resources. In such partnerships, we allowed ourselves to depend on other countries to provide us with goods for an agreed-upon price. Life is not possible without this kind of dependence on others.

 

Perhaps we should have called it was the Declaration of Individuality. That’s actually what the founding fathers were saying—we are a separate entity, capable of governing ourselves. As such, we can agree to trade as equals, without ever sacrificing our status as an individual nation (of states).

 

This, BTW, is the best way to consider launching our children into the world. They are not ending all dependence on us; they are simply declaring themselves as individuals, capable of governing themselves. (Except, unlike Britain, we should be encouraging this declaration).

 

Peace begins with pause,

 

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