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.
This is a day of celebration for people who live in the United States of America. We are celebrating the day we became an independent nation. Independence was declared on July 2, 1776 (the day of the signing of the Declaration of Independence) and was formally recognized on July 4th. Today, we celebrate and recognize our independence. But, most unfortunately, the majority of citizens of the United States are still not truly independent; a situation I find myself in and am presently working to rectify.
Freedom & Independence
Written into the Declaration of Independence is the recognition that we are all equal and that each one of us is born with rights that we cannot, at birth, be separated from. We are alive and nobody has the right to take that away from us. We have the right to freedom (liberty), and we have the right to pursue happiness by any method or means as we desire. Why, then, are so many people in the United States so dependent on an income that will only allow them to live one week to the next? Why are so many people dependent on the U.S. Government, unable to survive without aid or assistance; always one small step away from poverty? Why are so many people bound by careers they dislike; chained to a desk, a production line, a paycheck or the status quo? What, then, is Independence? From the evidence I can see, most people, apparently, do not really know. I believe, however, that most people are absolutely clear on what independence is not; what freedom is not.
The Pursuit of Happiness
Why should anybody continue to work at a job that makes him miserable? Why should anyone be chained to a life of misery, subjecting herself to bitter and constant unhappiness? The Declaration of Independence is, in my opinion, one of the greatest and inspiring documents ever written. But here we are a couple hundred years after this momentous occasion and the hard-won independence; and the right to freedom and the grand pursuit of happiness seems like a far-off dream. We are still, as I see it, a nation of slaves of all colors and creeds. We are slaves to our fears, slaves to our circumstances, and slaves to our deeply-flawed beliefs. Is there anything more noble, more respectable, and more desirable than Personal Independence? Can we not see the folly of following false beliefs; beliefs that keep us trapped in abject poverty regardless of how much money we earn each year? Can we not see that there is no liberty where fear is the foundation of our failure to act in the highest good for all humankind?
Where there is fear, there is hesitation and indecision. How, then, does one pursue happiness? How does one rend herself free from the ill-formed beliefs that weigh upon her, crushing all hope for true happiness? How, when one is cemented in place by paycheck or circumstance, does one remove the blindness which keeps our birthright of freedom and our independence just beyond his vision? Like the founding fathers discovered, nothing so great as independence can be gained without sacrifice; without great effort and the deep conviction that the cause for which we are fighting is deserved by all who apply for it? Freedom and the pursuit of happiness are unalienable rights.
What’s Wrong with Working?
It must be stated; it must be made perfectly clear that there is nothing wrong with working a 40-hour-per-week job. Work, in and of itself, is the backbone of this country and the foundation of Independence. However, when one feels trapped by an unfulfilling job or dissatisfying career and continues to maintain such miserable conditions, one is neither free nor independent. When one is haunted by want and left wishing, hoping, and praying for true happiness but she has no concept within herself of what true happiness really is, how can she expect solid conditions to change into such an ambiguous cloud? There is nothing wrong with working, nor is there anything wrong with a desire to be free of a day job, as long as you are consciously working toward greater levels of freedom and happiness.
A Personal Declaration of Independence
We are living in a country where there are few limits to what one can achieve. The Declaration of Independence is a national declaration of independence which give the people of this great nation the freedom to do with our lives whatever we choose as long as we don’t impinge on another person’s freedom. We, as a nation, are free. But we, as individuals, are not yet free…at least not most of us. Do you sincerely want to be free? Claim it now! Do you truly desire happiness? Claim it now! Today is the day to make your own personal declaration of independence! Vow to dispel the beliefs that harbor fear. Vow to find a job that is deeply fulfilling, whether that means self-employment by some work-from-home program or changing careers entirely. Don’t worry about the past; focus only on the present moment, which is the only moment in time that you can control. Use your time wisely to move step-by-step in the direction of your greatest dreams. Cultivate a greater vision for yourself and the world. Stop listening to society, to friends, or to any naysayers. Nobody knows what you can and cannot do, therefore, nobody has the right to tell you what your truth is or should be. Reach for the happiness you deserve and help others, along the way, to do the same thing. Become all that you are capable of becoming, then serve as a beacon for others who are still trapped by the false belief that they can never be free; that they can never have personal independence.
Only he who believes; only she who is fearless will ever find true happiness and independence. Let today, Independence Day, come to be not only a celebration of our nation’s independence, but of your own personal independence. Vow to be free; vow to be happy, and declare your personal independence today, and forever!