Courage and Conviction

04 Jul

On July 4th, 1776, a group of men signed a document that would forever change the world.

By signing this document, they told the most powerful country in the world, at that time, to go f#%@ off. In effect, they signed their own death warrants that day. They knew that by signing that document, if they or their families were captured, they would be shot. Period. That is what I call tremendous courage.

These men had conviction that they were no longer going to sit by and be abused by what they called a tyrannical oppressor. The saying, “Live free or die!” was not just a sound bite to them. They believed it in their core. They made a conscious decision that nothing was more important to the people than freedom.

When I think about the courage and conviction these men had, I think about myself. Is there anything, that I would give up everything for? At first it’s easy to answer, freedom, family, friends, country, etc. But, I started to rationalize my responses.  Finally, came the final question, would I give up my life and that of my family for an idea that would help others? That is a tall order. The list of things that are that important to me gets short indeed.

The reality is that this decision gets made daily by those who join the armed forces. They may not think very long about the possibility when they join. But the question and answer are both implied. Beyond the military and those who unselfishly put themselves in harm’s way for the benefit of strangers.

My question to you, on this anniversary of that fateful day, is what conviction in your life, would willingly give up everything for?

Happy Independence Day, United States of America!


Posted by on July 4, 2013 in Musings and Odd Thoughts


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2 responses to “Courage and Conviction

  1. Matthew Wright

    July 5, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I remain hugely impressed by the courage, breadth of knowledge, enlightenment and wisdom of some of the lead players behind the emergence of the US. In a way they were framed by the emerging libertarian ideals of their day – mirrored across the Atlantic in France. And they were determined to set out a nation on proper principles, very different from Europe’s ancien regime, even as the latter crumbled in its own way before the forces of industrialisation.

    One of the historical ironies of US independence was that Britain lost its dumping ground for convicts, found another in Australia – and New Zealand grew organically out of that.
    New Zealand never had any revolution, or declaration of independence or written constitution in the US style. This place was set up to democratic principles from the outset. We run an adapted Westminster system, minus the upper house, but with checks and balances including an independent judiciary. Ironically, when Britain tried to shed its dependent children in the early part of the twentieth century, we didn’t want to go…


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