Happy Fourth, America…

Mary Katherine Goddard knew exactly what she was doing when she told 56 men she would gladly print their parchment. She wasn’t asked to sign. She chose to stamp her name on The Declaration of Independence, anyway. Mary was hands on, America.

This morning, before heading out for a ride around central Ohio, I’m reflecting on our freedom and the price our founders paid. The 56 men and Mary did something so rare in the history of humankind – they risked it all when they had easier options. Think about it. These were mostly rich, powerful, men of means. Mary was a business owner. These were not terrorists or desperate rebels. Far from it – they were farm owners, plantation owners, and lawyers. In other words, these were men with plenty to lose. Rarely do these kinda people lead rebellions. Rarely. And, they didn’t just organize the rebellion, they personally led it. The last line in the Declaration of Independence is worth memorizing. Memorizing this will help you take personal responsibility. Our founders understood personal responsibility as demonstrated in Jefferson’s last lines.

“And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

And so they did. Most of them lost most of their fortunes, some lost their lives, all because they chose liberty over security. Five were captured and tortured before being put to their death. Twelve had their homes sacked and burned. Many loaned their fortune to the government and died bankrupt as a result. Nine died fighting in the war. All understood their pledge. They risked it all. They chose liberty over security.

We have been given a great gift and kinda like the 3rd generation of a family business, we’re mostly taking it for granted and slowly letting it slip away. Today, choose to take responsibility instead of residence in victimhood. Our founders fought for liberty and gave up their lives of security, the least we can do is honor this hard earned liberty without expecting handouts as our newfound heritage. Our heritage comes from having our hands on. Hands on instead of hands out. Today be hands on, America. And, while you’re at it, help another get their hands on too.

Liberty or security. Responsibility or victimhood. Hands on or hands out. Liberty, responsibility, and hands on, are your American heritage, my friends. Be like Mary. Choose to stand for liberty, personal responsibility, and put your hands on what you stand. Be like Mary. Be hands on, America.

Happy Fourth. Hands out or hands on? You choose. Your choices have consequences…

2 thoughts on “Happy Fourth, America…

  1. Thanks Chet. A great reminder of the rebels and revolutionaries who meant what they said and who were prepared to meet death rather than submit to tyranny. Today, on this 242nd Independence Day, I will be “hands-on” protesting the cruelty and venality of the current administration by rejecting its superficial and hypocritical “patriotism” of mindless flag worship and nationalistic bombast. Instead, I will spend the day quietly working at our Rotary Club’s July 4th Festival on the Harbor here, the proceeds of which will go to providing pre-school educational vouchers for the poor rural kids who live in our county. I’ll be thinking of them, and of the growing gap between the ideals our Founders fought and died for and our present predicament. And I’ll thank God for the self-correcting systems true American patriots have built for 242 years that give me the one glimmer of hope that these dark days, too, will pass. Perhaps other of your followers will disagree with me, and I’ll also thank God for that right we all share.

  2. Love your “and,” Sully. Your bright light breaks into our collective darkness and helps us all see more clearly. Thanks for being hands on in your way. You make the difference. Happy fourth, my friend…

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