Tomorrow is Independence Day, so I’m taking a holiday from website work this week to celebrate one of my favorite holidays of the year.
Independence Day has a special meaning for me because I am descended from nine Patriots who fought in the Revolutionary War for our freedom. My grandmother and great aunts were members of the Daughters of the American Revolution, so in my family, freedom was something to be honored and celebrated.
Some years ago I wrote a piece about independence that I want to share with you today. Every year I bring this out again, because independence as a concept is so important to me, and particulary independence from toxic chemicals in consumer products.
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For me, Independence Day is about more than having a picnic and going to the fireworks (usually we have both picnic and fireworks, but today it looks like we might be rained out). It’s a time to bring my attention again to the concept of independence in my own life, and for the nation in which I live.
I love the Declaration of Independence.
“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.”
This is the idea that our country was founded on. This is the idea that men and women fought for and gave their lives for, that we should have Life, Liberty, and Happiness.
Life is not just an individual human being alive. Life is the whole of life that supports each individual organism. We have not just the right, but in the words of our forefathers, the unalienable right to be alive as individuals and to have all of Life there to support our individual lives.
Today, the primary attention of our nation is on the industrial economy. How different things would be if our first priority as a nation was to ensure that Life is sustained.
What is independence?
Here is part of a dictionary definition:
- not subject to control by others : self-governing
- not affiliated with a larger controlling unit
- not requiring or relying on something else
- not looking to others for one’s opinions or for guidance in conduct
- not requiring or relying on others (as for care or livelihood)
- showing a desire for freedom
Each entity must have the freedom to be independent, the freedom to govern themselves. to make decisions in their own best interest and in the best interest of all Life. Each individual person, each individual relationship, each individual household, each individual business, each individual community, each individual town, each individual state, each individual nation. We must claim independence for ourselves and grant it to others.
At the same time, we must recognize that we are also interdependent, that our life, liberty and happiness depends on every other living organism having their life, liberty, and happiness. Every one. Birds and trees and fish and butterflies and all other living things in addition to humans.
We are both our independent selves as individuals AND interdependent with all the rest of life.
This is what I remind myself of on Independence Day.
USHISTORY.ORG: The Declaration of Independence Has the full text of the Declaration, along with profiles of the signer, Thomas Jefferson’s account of the writing of the Declaration, and more.
THE CO-INTELLIGENCE INSTITUTE: Interdependence, Interdependence Days and Declarations of Interdependence Discusses independence and interdependence and gives a history of Declarations of Interdependence, along with links to them.
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Now I also want to say that independence has everything to do with living toxic free. Manufacturers need freedom to make toxic-free products and we need freedom to choose them.
We CAN be free from the harmful effects of toxic chemcials by exercising our human right to make the choices that lead to that freedom. We can make our own choices to have life, liberty, and happiness.
Happy Independence Day!