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!