Independence Day

by Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical on July 4, 2011

Independence Day FireworksHappy 4th of July!  Today we Americans celebrate freedom and independence.  It was back in 1776 that America declared its independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain by adopting the Declaration of Independence.  Today many of us will celebrate with parades, fireworks, barbeques, picnics, concerts, baseball games and beer.  There is nothing more American than getting rip roaring drunk and handling explosive fireworks.  Ironically it’s also a busy day for local area emergency rooms.

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus

But drunken mangled appendages aside, what does it really mean to be free and independent?  If you’ve never read the Declaration of Independence you can get an idea of what the founding fathers of this country considered freedom to be.  I’d never read the entire text until yesterday.  It’s basically a laundry list of complaints, grievances and charges against King George III.  It’s also a statement that when the people of a nation believe that certain unalienable rights have been violated then the people have the right to revolt and abolish that government.

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.

As our sabbatical departure draws ever closer I can’t help but spend some time today reflecting on our own revolution, our own Declaration of Independence.  It wasn’t that long ago that I thought the only path to follow was the traditional path of working for the weekends and 2 weeks of vacation a year.  And there is nothing wrong with that if it works for you.  But I’ve always had this nagging feeling that there was more out there, a different way of viewing the world and how we interact with it. Over the course of the past year since starting this blog I’ve met so many people who have crafted their own Declaration of Independence and are doing exactly what they want to be doing.  It’s some amazing, inspiring and motivating stuff they are doing too.  We all have the potential and ability to do the same.

Are you doing what you really want to be doing, what you’re really passionate about?  If not, what’s stopping you?  What would your own Declaration of Independence look like?

Happy Independence Day!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna July 5, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Well, as a Canadian (with dual British citizenship) my experience with my home country(ies) independance is a little different but I think my personal ‘Declaration’ is similar to yours in that I don’t want to follow the traditional path…and yes, there is so much out there in the world and I want see more of it too. I’m glad my husband shares my dreams…and hopefully our kids will too. We’re working on it. Thanks so much for your blog, Matt…it really helps us :)

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Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical July 9, 2011 at 12:17 am

Hi Joanna! Yes, I think we do have similar goals of Independence. It’s so good to hear that you are following that path and starting to make some inroads to making it happen. Step by step you will get there. If I can help you guys in any way please let me know. We’re about to finally book our tickets and set a date for departure. Then things really start to take off.

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Matthew Bailey July 8, 2011 at 11:19 pm

I was in Salt Lake city for 4th of July. People were setting off fireworks everywhere including the middle of the street haha. Was cool to somewhat experience Americas independence day. Canadas bday is july 1st. Random comment I know hah
Matthew Bailey recently posted..Taking a long term sabbatical overseas with a family | An Interview with Matt Koenig

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Matt | 1 Year Sabbatical July 9, 2011 at 12:19 am

Haha!!! Yeah things can get a little crazy. Here in Oregon many people head to Idaho to get the good stuff that shoot into the air. It’s illegal here but it never stops people. So you have fireworks shooting up everywhere. Check out a few of the photos I took of the fireworks on Independence Day.

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