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We hold these truths to be self-evident

Posted by griffithd on July 7, 2018 at 11:35 AM

I recently had the opportunity to attend a function at Independence Hall. Three individuals, incredibly well done, reenacted Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and some of their interaction around the Deceleration of Independence.

Reread the document. Some excerpts.

“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.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness……….And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

It Is not new news that these and their colleagues were extraordinary men. Yes, they did not deal with the issue of slavery, gender remained an issue, and yes these were different times, and history casts a romantic image where myth and facts no doubt get blended.

However, what strikes me is the contrast to today and the consequences of the vacuum of “sacred honor” leadership. This is not a red or a blue comment. It is a national, public observation, pointed out in the press, by the pundits, and by the facts.

As a nation what is it we value? We are a nation of immigrants, yet we look to close our borders. We are a nation of merchants, yet we seek to end free trade. We are the wealthiest nation on earth, yet fifteen percent of our population lives in poverty. We are a nation of builders, yet our infrastructure crumbles. We are a nation of innovators and inventors, yet our math and science scores do not reflect a bright future. We are a nation of outdoorsmen, and yet we fail to support clean water and air. We are a nation that values individual freedom, yet the government has grown on many levels out of control.

Where is the “sacred honor” leadership that puts the nation and all of her people ahead of personal greed and gain? Where is the common good that brings our people together, rather than tears at each other’s throats? Where is the civil dialogue that begets comprise and in turn movement and progress? Where is a nation that cares about its future more than the current moment?

We stand on the shoulders of giants. We owe it to them and their sacrifices and to the generations that follow to find common ground. To look in the mirror and elect leadership that we hold accountable to the standards and values of 1776 and the hard lessons learned since then. History and Lincoln tell us that a house divided cannot long stand. We are on the brink. We cannot go back, but we can choose to go forward.

Life, Liberty, and Happiness are worth fighting for, but not just for ourselves. The lesson of history tells us that the good fight is a fight for all people.

I saw a sign the other day. It read, “It’s my Country.“

Yes, it is.

It is self-evident.

Categories: Muddy Boots, Leadership, Griffith Thoughts

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1 Comment

Reply Lonny Strum
11:54 AM on July 7, 2018 
Well said, my friend.