Declare Your Independence

Happy Birthday America! Today we celebrate the birth of America by having copious amounts of Bar-B-Q and drinks while gorging on food as though we are about to go into battle. We’ll try to keep cool by floating in the closest pool while counting down the minutes until we see the biggest fireworks our cash strapped cities can muster together because we all love to celebrate the birth of our country by seeing a small part of it blown up in fashion.

While sorting through my carefully selected fireworks I realized that America celebrates its declaration of independence and NOT the last battle that ended the war. We don’t celebrate the war victory; we celebrate the DECLARATION of our rights and our desire to fight!

If you are under the impression that our independence was declared after a day long meeting attended to by some rich dudes in wigs and funny pants, and was achieved without peril then you’re clearly not addicted to the History Channel like yours truly. Without getting into too many of the awesome details I’ll give a quick overview of major events leading up to America’s birth. The Declaration of Independence was a result of years of protesting and struggling starting with The Stamp Act of 1765, which allowed the British Parliament the power to tax their colonies directly without representation, upset the colonies as did the Tea Act of 1773. Protesting turned into civil disobedience with the Boston Tea Party of December 16, 1773. The British parliament responded in 1774 by tightening the screws on the colonies and ending Boston’s self rule resulting in a cycle of more protesting by the colonies and more acts of force by the British. These series of events spiraled out of control on April 18, 1775 in Lexington, Massachusetts shots were exchanged between British soldiers and local militias. Surprisingly it wasn’t until a full 15 months after the first battle of the Revolutionary war that the Declaration of Independence was signed and officially announced to the world that the American colonies were no longer under the British empire!! A full 5 years of war was needed to actually gain that independence, which formally took hold with signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

I say all that to get to this point: The war our forefathers fought so their country could realize the inalienable rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” is a fight that each of us has to do on our own. If you’re struggling with debt, a job that isn’t making you happy, or a house you hate coming to then its up to you to finally respect your struggles and acknowledge them by declaring your independence. Your declaration cannot come without years of trials and will not bear fruit without years of fighting. However, there are no short cuts and no easy ways. I know that inside each of us is the knowledge of how to be successful yet we hold ourselves back. I’m guilty as charged.

Start today! Think of all the things in your life that are prodding you like the Stamp and Tea Acts poked at the soul of the colonies and fight back. Cut off the people that are holding you back, cut off possessions that have made you their slave, and most importantly cut off the thoughts and feelings holding you down. I know you’ve been fighting for years so use today as the day you issue your Declaration of Independence so that at every year you can celebrate with fireworks!

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