Today is the 4th of July, which means that we in the United States celebrate our independence today. Or that today we celebrate with fireworks and parades and parties, and that it happens to be on a day that may have once signified something important. Like independence. And freedom. Freedom from tyranny, oppression, religious persecution. Freedom. Which so often we overlook, forget, or take for granted.
The Declaration of Independence states, “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…” We, all of us, in this nation have unalienable rights – they cannot be taken away from us. They include, but are not limited to, the right to life, the right to be free, and the right to pursue happiness.
Yet many people groups have had to fight tooth and nail through the centuries to actually attain these unalienable rights. And then time passes and those same people groups begin to take for granted that which they had to fight so hard to receive. So, for instance, when a woman tells me she doesn’t bother voting, it just reminds me of how much we’ve lost as we’ve become so complacent in the status quo. How would the suffragettes feel about their hard-fought battles if they saw the state of complacency today? But more importantly, where would we be today had they not fought?
As a woman and small-business owner, I am very cognizant of the freedoms we realize in this nation. Could things be better? Certainly – there’s always room for improvement. But could things be worse? You’d better believe it. There are so many places in the world where The Lost Arts couldn’t exist. Because there’s no electricity or running water in the village, or because the country is war-torn, or because the region is too impoverished, or simply because I’m a woman. So today, I am thankful for the freedoms we have in this nation and make a pledge to not take it all for granted.