Declare Your Independence

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most influential documents of all time.

Composed in an era of tremendous discord, the words echo generations on for struggles great and small. Despite the animosity simmering under the surface, the document is a measured statement of fact–a simple explanation of what has irrevocably led to the dissolution of a long relationship.

Each section speaks to the challenges we all face.

The first sentence nods to the “decent respect to the opinions of mankind” which has guided the drafting process, fulfilling the expectation learned men of differing minds must afford opposition the courtesy of detailing their position’s foundation–to avoid just saying “what” and instead lay out “why.”

The infamous preamble refers to the “self-evident” truths being ignored by the British crown–so obvious as to need no introduction, but afforded one anyway.

Further on it reminds the receiver of the decision’s gravity, informing Parliament “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes.” Breaking the colonial bond is more than a whim driven by the latest taxation without representation.

There can be no mistaking the thorough consideration leading to this conclusion.

The wisdom of what comes next is timeless.

Every one of us has seen and “all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

You know this feeling.

Your restless heart will only spend so much time under the yoke of an oppressive master. A moment will come when the situation is no longer bearable, when the pain is too great to continue on with the same fruitless routine.

The decision is not a choice between two tenable possibilities, then, it is more like the selection of personal good over enforced evil.

Making a change is the only option.

At some point, “when a long train of abuses and usurpations” robs someone of that which we all hold most dear–life itself–“it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Your first down payment on freedom is made with a confident stance on the subject of your own value, a demand others honor the righteousness of your task.

This is no request for favor.

This is no petition for mercy.

This is one of your “unalienable rights.”

This is your declaration of independence.

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