I originally wrote this and shared it on my Facebook page last year. As I re-read it my thoughts still ring true. Enjoy.
I’m was wide awake at 3 am, and I found myself deep in thought. I could blame the caffeine I had, or most probably the bear trap of a bed I find myself in. I’m tightly squeezed between my husband and my sleepless child who woke, for whatever reason, and found himself into our bed. And don’t forget Izzy, my cat, who is in the mood to lay directly on top of me no matter which way I turn. I’m basically caged in by piles of covers and loved ones.
Anyways, in an effort to feel patriotic and scholarly I found my self reading The Declaration of Independence.
Of course, I read the beginning with it’s awe inspiring quotes if “We the people” and “All men created equal.”
Then, I pushed through the list of grievances from the crown. This would have probably resonated better with me if I could remember more details from my history classes.
In the end, what really struck me was the conclusion, “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” How would they be remembered if it didn’t work out? Especially since history is written by the victors.
Maybe that is what we truly celebrate today: the risk. We celebrate the birth of our country and the declarations of its intentions and those who risk everything to get us here.
How often do we feel we only celebrate the victories in our history or in our own lives? How much better to celebrate the times when we take risks? Or when we make declarations and push through the struggles, fight battles, or simply readjust when it doesn’t work?
I guess I’m saying, maybe the 4th isn’t about celebrating a perfect country or perfect lives, but rather finding joy in a history of seeking and pursuing the intents of our original declarations and ideals.
I’m thankful for those throughout history and today who have risked so much so that I might be enjoying today.