The Unanimous Declaration
of the Thirteen United States of America
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
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. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
Powerful words…very powerful. So powerful in fact that they are still the basis for our county today. I remember the first time I read these words; I was in the 5th grade at Allouez Elementary School in Green Bay, Wisconsin. These words set me on a course of life that I still can’t comprehend today. These words made me want to right the wrongs of not just our nation but the nations across the globe. They made me want to give hope to the hopeless, defend the defenseless, comfort the sick the wounded and the ailing people I came into contact with.
They are also the reason why I ignore people who refuse to help themselves out of situations in which they have control over. This is the reason why I don’t talk to some folks who won’t even bother to bend over and pick up a piece of trash that is lying at their feet. Look, I want to help, I want to be the good guy, I want to be a friend that is there for others when they need him. But, it’s hard to help someone who refuses to help themselves. (Shit, I just realized I re-wrote my opening sentence. Oh well, I’m leaving it in because I can and if you don’t like it. Stop reading.) And all this brings me to another point. That point? Simple, I don’t mind helping someone in need as long as they are willing to help themselves. If you want an ear to listen to you, a shoulder to cry on, and advice from someone who has been in a similar situation… then I’m your man. I’ve been through a lot of crap for this country and I’m a better person for it. Hell, this country of ours has killed me physically, spiritually and mentally and then resuscitated my carcass back to life just so it could abuse me some more. Am I thankful? Grateful? Appreciative? Yes, I am.
I ask, and this is a “Skipism”, why do we insist on helping people who neither want our help or refuse to help themselves out of situations they solely have control over? Why do we continue to send aid to countries that have asked for our help when they themselves refuse to try and get their own country out of the quagmire of corruption, disease, poverty and destitution they are in? It’s simple, I think. You see, it’s easier to take a handout than it is to work hard and make a living. Why put forth an effort when someone else is willing to do your work for you? It’s the causality of doing the right thing when all that is needed is a kick in the ass. But we as Americans don’t see it that way. Our vision is skewed to right the wrongs and injustices that plague the world, even at the expense of our personal freedoms and liberties. We believe our elected leaders hold our best interests sacred and chant the dogmatic “Pledge of Allegiance” every time we come into conflict with reason and logic.
But wasn’t our country founded upon principles contrary to popular opinion and status quo? Isn’t the reason we fought the Revolutionary War was so that we wouldn’t be oppressed by the King of England? Didn’t we fight a Civil War in an attempt to hold together a country founded on principles by men named Jefferson, Washington, Addams, Franklin and Hancock? Didn’t our founding fathers believe that the men and women whom they represented held sacred the truths and beliefs that we should all be able to earn a living without having to by terrorized by a totalitarian ruler? Isn’t that why Washington refused to serve more than two terms in office and thus setting a precedent for future leaders of our country? (With the exception of F.D.R.)
I would like to say that being contrarian in nature is an American trait, but I can’t. Although it is more prevalent in Americans than elsewhere in this mud ball, just look at the music we’ve created over the past 100 years. Well, maybe with the exception of the English punk movement.
I used to rebel against everything and everyone save for one exception, our country. The country founded by businessmen and community leaders who only desired to be free of the shackles and chains of an oppressive government. Leaders who felt that being on the streets of their cities and talking to the people on those streets was more important than figuring out how to be reelected and how much money they needed for the next campaign. I would love to say they were all honorable men in their personal lives but I have no evidence to state what their personal lives were like. I just know they tried their best to create a world for future generations to live in freedom and prosperity. In some areas they failed and in some they excelled, but remember it was an experiment like none other at the time.
I’ve learned over the years, and this was a very difficult lesson, that sometimes our leaders don’t really know what they are doing. They are actually just flying by the seat of their pants and hope they are doing the right thing. I can’t fault them for this, simply because I do this and knowing some of you out there that are reading this, you do this as well. Where does this leave us? Well, I’d like to say that we are the greatest nation in the history of the world. I’d like to say that we have lived up to the expectations of our fore-fathers and their dreams for us. I’d like to say that we Americans have exceeded all boundaries and obstacles put before us.
But I can’t. We still have a lot of work to do and as long as there is breath in my lungs and energy in my body I will continue to work for the dream of freedom and liberty that the foundation builders of our nation set for us. And with that, I will leave you with this second quote from the number one Hero on my list. He is the same guy who helped draft the Declaration you read earlier.
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
Happy Birthday America