Independence is Earned
Today we celebrate the Declaration of Independence. The signers of the document were mostly men of means. They had thrived under British rule. Yet, they were willing to put everything on the line for the cause. We owe them. We owe them not by celebrating our independence, but by continuing to earn it.
This document has stood for over two hundred years. Men and women have fought and died for what it stands for. I will notice memorials built in small towns. These memorials list the local military members who gave their lives. I can’t help but read all of the names. Some small towns will even have t
he names of the Revolutionary War dead listed. The number of people we lost during World War 2 is astonishing. Over 60,000 men died in 3 days in Gettysburg. Antietam Creek ran red. They fought to protect more than our way of life. They also fought to liberate victims of human injustice around the world. They should rightfully be honored.
The courage of the men who signed the Declaration of Independence did not give us independence. The soldiers who fought and died did not give us independence. They gave us the opportunity to earn our independence. Independence is earned through responsibility. The more responsibility you display, the more independence you earn.
Most successful owner operators were successful drivers first. Then we took on the responsibility of owning a truck and operating a business. That decision did not come without risk. My wife and I put a good hunk of savings down on the truck. The bank would not give us a loan on the truck without using the house as collateral. I don’t put the risk that we took on par with the signers of the Declaration of Independence or the soldiers that fought for freedom. It isn’t even close. As a matter of fact, they laid the groundwork to give me the opportunity to take that risk and responsibility.
Too often in this country we believe that we have a right to what we want. I will always remember the JFK quote “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” Somehow we have gotten that turned around in the last 50 years. We need to honor the people that gave us opportunity for independence. We can do that by taking responsibility and earning it.