What Is It About Independence Day? - How far have we come?
What is it about Independence Day? Independence Day was the day the original colonies broke free from Britain's Rule. That was the day the Declaration of Independence was signed. A little tidbit you may not know or remember. The day the Declaration of Independence was signed was actually July 2nd., 1776. It was later decided it would be celebrated on July 4th. This is certainly a day to celebrate this great event. There is nothing sad associated with this day. It is referred to as the birth of our nation. FIreworks, celebrations, picnics, and other forms of celebration are certainly appropriate on this day. However, what else does this mean? Have some taken the word "Independence" too far and use it out of context for their own purpose?
By definition, independence is the fact or state of being independent,
Independent, in turn, has three different meaning depending on the use of the word:
1. Free from outside control and not depending on another's authority. (Personally, I have a problem with the second part of that statement because I believe it to be false.)
2. Not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence
3. as a noun, an independent person of body
Has all this become twisted over time in some way or another? I stated I have a problem with the second part of item 1, NOT DEPENDING ON ANOTHER'S AUTHORITY. We have laws to follow, rules to follow, and basic morals and values. Being independent as a person does not relieve us of those obligations. Therefore, you cannot murder someone. After all, you did it because you are an independent person. Many use this part of that definition to justify what they do or have done. Let's look a bit deeper.
Many political groups hold rallies, promote violence, and other forms of illegal activities based on the premise they are "Independent" and set their own rules. Groups that classify themselves as activist groups make these claims. A militia, the original organization of the Klu Klux Klan, and other political groups that do not recognize the "law of the land," only their law. The laws they had constructed when they formed their groups. This may not be limited to these groups. Other groups such as white supremacists or neo-nazi groups may also fall into this category.
Being independent as an individual does not hold the
meaning and purpose of the Declaration of Independence. Therefore, personal independence does not apply and should not be compared to this document. Also, other groups or sets of individuals do not apply to the meaning and purpose of this document. Personal independence, meaning, a person's individual independence and individuality is completely different with a totally different meaning, purpose, and how they exercise those rights. And yes, whether you like it, agree with it, or disagree with it, every person has the right to their own independence. However, that part of the definition of independence refers to items 2 and 3.
You see, many words in our language have different meanings, depending on if how they are used—meaning, a verb, a noun, etc. However, like searching for something on Google, where statistically over 90% of people click on the first listing on a page, people look at a word in the dictionary and only look at one part of the definition. The creators of dictionaries assume that most people have the intelligence to look at a multiple-part definition and apply the part that applies to the way the word is being used. That is a HUGE assumption to make. Why? Because over 80% of people will only look at the first, or #1, listing the word's definition. Also, the human condition dictates that we all will tend to use anything in life as we perceive it will benefit us.
This is the main reason for having constitutional scholars and lawyers. Those individuals who have studied the wording of our constitution to ensure the words are being received properly. This is another reason why a judge in a court of law has the levity to interpret the law. Mainly because most laws are poorly written and do not apply equally to every case. The wording is, at times, vague at best. This is why in almost every case that goes before a judge, an attorney will always tell you it's up to the judge unless a case is that clear cut. Even with that, the judge has levity on the sentence because, again, suggested sentencing are guidelines for a judge to follow.
Why is all this so vague? It is nearly impossible to write any law or sentencing rule that could accurately cover every variation of a crime or the circumstances as to why a crime was committed. One way the law tries to accomplish this is by taking one specific charge, let's say murder as an example, and breaking it down into different parts—murder one, two, justifiable homicide, etc.
However, other words such as independence oftentimes are based on a person's perception of what a "reasonable mind" would think. What is a reasonable mind? Usually, that is how society, in general, would perceive something.
Do you think I went off the topic? If you did, you are incorrect because this is all interrelated and the terminology of how independence has evolved over the centuries. IF the Declaration of Independence was referring in any way to individual independence, why wasn't slavery abolished in the 13th. amendment until December 15th., 1865, and why wasn't a women's right to vote passed by Congress on June 4th., 1919, and ratified into the 19th. Amendment until August 18th, 1920, which granted women the right to vote? This clearly demonstrates the difference between the Declaration of Independence and a person's individual independence and rights. With Independence Day being a national and federal holiday, it is usually observed by the government or a business on the next business day for those who would have it off as a paid holiday. Yes, the almighty dollar is never forgotten or left out of the equation. However, that's for a different blog post.
The end-all here is to demonstrate how the meaning of certain things can become skewed over time and used for the wrong purpose. However, make no mistake. Independence Day, as its intended purpose, is a day to celebrate. A day to be joyful because it was the birth of this great nation. With all great nations, they are like a child. They need to grow, learn and flourish. Along the way, mistakes will be made, yet hopefully, corrected. Our great nation is only 245 years old. In a person's life, that is old. For a nation, we are still a child. Still learning and growing. This we call evolution. Everything in life and life itself evolves and adapts as it learns, and we all are still learning. Should the learning process ever stop for us as a people or for any nation, then we become stagnant, and there is no longer forward motion. The history of civilization has taught us that we have never been nor will ever be a stagnant society by the nature of evolution alone. However, it is how we evolve and move forward that matures. In this writer's opinion, we are not doing the best job possible with our present social and political climate. Certainly not what we are capable of. We must find a way to get along as a society, and our politicians must find a way to work together to get us back on the path to being a thriving better productive nation.
Stay safe and be well. Thank you.
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