Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wisdom Wednesdays: Land of the free

Happy Independence Day, America!

As we celebrate the 236th birthday of this incredible country, it’s easy to get caught up in the fireworks and festivities, and forget how different life would be if it weren’t for the foresight of the founding fathers and the direction that they set for this country. A few diddys about this special day: it was recognized by Congress in 1870 as a national holiday, 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed (which was 1776). It wasn’t until 1938 that Congress officially declared it a federal holiday, and gave federal workers the day off.

Today, in the midst of an upcoming election, we have political jargon, war of words and differing opinions as the top dialogue of our country. We also now have social media as another, relatively new, venue to share opinions; I’m sure you’ve seen many facebook and twitter posts on how ridiculous Republicans and/or Democrats are- but no matter what side you are on, thank God, the cornerstone of this country is democracy and with that comes the freedom of speech and the right to choose our leaders. A gift that we owe to those that came before us who set this protocol for our country.

Today I wanted to remember the values and beliefs that this country was founded upon. Now, I’m no historian, so alas, I hit google for quotes from our founding fathers and their vision for our country.

On the role of the government:
“A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicity.” Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address

On liberty:
"Any people that would give up liberty for a little temporary safety deserves neither liberty nor safety." -Benjamin Franklin

On the Constitution:
"The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government." -Patrick Henry

On religion guiding our leaders:
"I've lived, sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: That God governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We've been assured in the sacred writings that unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it. I firmly believe this, and I also believe that without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel." -Benjamin Franklin, eldest member at the Constitutional Convention

Check out more quotes and info from/on our founding fathers:

So, here’s to this country, those that came before us and led its path, those that lead us today, and those who will continue to lead us in the future. All of which wouldn't be possible without those that gave their lives in the name of freedom. For my kids and my kids kids' sake, may we go forward with the same integrity in which we began. I’ll leave you with this quote, one of my favorites:

“Posterity, you will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in heaven that ever I took half the pains to preserve it." -John Adams

Cheers to you and yours…and happy Independence Day.


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