Independence Begins With…

Independence Begins With…

I, as in “I can do this. I can solve the problem. I am responsible and accountable. I am capable on my own.” Independence begins with self-reliance. It is only with “I” that independence is earned or maintained.

It is probably not mere coincidence that the world’s grandest experiment on independence, liberty and freedom came at a time when people made things, grew things, fixed things, built things and survived. The ability to help others with service and philanthropy came from one’s ability to strive, achieve, fail and try again.

Ralph Waldo Emerson stated in his essay Self-Reliance, “Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”

Independence of thought and action comes from within; people must access their life’s worth of knowledge, talent, conviction and courage. Such behavior requires being untethered from conformity, popularity and group think. Emerson continues: “Insist on yourself; never imitate. Your own gift you can present every moment with the cumulative force of a whole life’s cultivation, but of the adopted talent of another you have only an extemporaneous half possession.” Be you, not the other. Being yourself—free to express, think and believe—you become the epitome of independence.

Independence, freedom and liberty, and the courage and commitment to preserve them begin with each individual. “Nothing can bring you peace but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace but the triumph of principles,” Emerson says.

Happy Independence Day to you, and thanks to all the individuals over hundreds of years who have challenged each of us to stand strongly for independence by finding personal peace through the triumph of principles…independence begins with I. Proclaim it today and daily.

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