What Is independence? And What Does It Mean To You?
In the United States, this word is packed full of meaning. On July 4th we celebrate Independence Day. This is the day we began to operate as our own country without British rule. As such The United States was free to adopt its own laws and rules to govern.
But actually, July 2nd, 1776 is when the legal separation of the 13 colonies from Great Britain actually occurred. But Congress debated and revised the wording of the Declaration, finally approving it two days later on July 4. See nothing is Washington has really changed, has it. 😊
For many people in America, the Statue of Liberty symbolizes that independence that is the hallmark of our country.
There are some interesting facts surrounding this famous day. According to research on Wikipedia:
Coincidentally, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, the only signers of the Declaration of Independence later to serve as Presidents of the United States, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the 50th anniversary of the Declaration. Although not a signer of the Declaration of Independence, James Monroe, another Founding Father who was elected as President, also died on July 4, 1831. He was the third President who died on the anniversary of independence. Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President, was born on July 4, 1872; so far he is the only U.S. President to have been born on Independence Day
Today the day is celebrated with fireworks, parades, picnics, BBQ’s and a National Holiday!
According to the Cambridge Dictionary Independence is:
Freedom to make laws or decisions without being governed or controlled by another country, organization, etc. This is what all American are celebrating on the 4th of July!
But There Is Another Definition
It is also defined as the state of wanting to be able to do things for yourself and to make your own decisions, without help or influence from other people.
This is the definition many seniors adhere to. They will do just about anything to remain independent. And their biggest fear is often becoming dependent on others for their basic needs.
But is this definition really correct?
Can you ever be truly independent according to this definition? Think about it. As a young child, you were dependent on your parents, teachers, grandparents, and others who cared for and influenced you. Then you grew into a young adult. Now you were dependent on your college professors to guide and mentor you. Or if you entered the workforce you were dependent on your boss and co-workers. And even those who work for themselves rely on other people for knowledge, inspiration and at times help.
Let’s face it, everyone is dependent on someone for something.
But as people begin to age, they often struggle to hold on to what they call their independence. Refusing to give up driving an older gentleman has a serious accident. Now in the hospital, he has lost his mobility. And he has to live with the fact, his actions caused harm to a young mother in the car he hit. Moreover, he is saddled with guilt.
His friend, however, agreed to give up his car keys. He calls Uber or Lyfte or sometimes catches a ride with a friend going in the same direction. He happily goes where he wants to. And he goes when he wants to. The only difference is he gets a little help to do so.
Who would you say is more independent?
So, take a little time today to ponder this word. What does independence really mean to you?