When the founding fathers signed this document they paid homage to an ideal that all men are created equal and that they have the right to self-determination. At the time the promise of equality and self-determination was not fully realized. Rather the nation began a journey toward realizing these ideals one step at a time.
While it is true that in 1776 most people were not equal and did not have self-determination we have progressed in that direction a great deal. Women got the vote. Black slaves were freed. American Indians became citizens with full civil rights under the law.
Have these things come easily? No, it has always been a struggle. Just as the original independence from Britain was a struggle that began almost a decade of war, every following step toward independence and equality has been a struggle. But we have striven to continue realizing that promise one step at a time, one year at a time.
There continue to be challenges and obstacles to these ideals. Perhaps there always will be. But the promise of July 4th is that a people could adopt these high ideals as a goal and realize them more and more as the struggle continues.
July 4th is not just about hot dogs and burgers and fireworks, although these are not bad things. They are our traditional way of celebrating what Abraham Lincoln would call “the last best hope of earth”. Remember that when you fire up the BBQ.Wishing you well,
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.