Many of the readers of this blog do not live in the United States where this weekend citizens of the USA celebrate Independence Day, a national holiday commonly referred to as the Fourth of July – the day our Declaration of Independence was signed and adopted by the First Continental Congress in 1776. This sacrosanct document, composed by Thomas Jefferson, was a testament to the deepest desire of humans – to be free! Free to live as they pleased; free to make their own way and make their own decisions; free to govern themselves; free to forge their own futures; free to succeed or fail based on their own will and initiative; free to break the bonds of social class; free to experience life richer and fuller based on their own choices and motivation.

This bold move by 13 fledgling colonies of the British Empire forever changed the course of human history and birthed the greatest, freest and most productive nation on the face of the earth. These deep human desires that “all men are created equal” with the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” regarded so casually today, were so important to these colonists that they were willing to place their very lives on the line to experience them. They knew beyond any doubt that the King of the British Empire would retaliate with troops and force, and they could be signing their own death sentence, but they wanted to experience life beyond that of indentured servants with no hope of ever building something for themselves and their descendants.

Something else was also born that day – the American Dream! The dream and ethos that anyone who is willing to work hard, regardless of their race, creed, color, or ethnicity can succeed and prosper in America. This ethos is born in a set of ideals that men and women have shed their blood to defend over and over again, the notion that democracy, liberty, opportunity and equality are worth living and dying to preserve. The idea that it matters not where we are from but only where we are going. The idea that no matter where our roots are or who our parents were, or who we are today is unimportant, but all that matters is who we are willing to become tomorrow. These ideals are all rooted in our Declaration of Independence, a document that has not only changed America but given hope to the entire planet.

So if you live in America on the 4th of July, whether you are enjoying a barbeque or picnic, attending a parade or fireworks, or just spending time with friends and loved ones, kicking back and enjoying life, ponder – if only for a brief moment – how fortunate you are that 56 men gathered in a room in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and signed a document that has changed the whole world. But no matter where you are or where you are from on God’s Green Earth be thankful that 240 years ago the American Dream was born and has inspired the world to dream bigger, be more, have more, and experience all that life has to offer.

So this 4th of July dare to Dream Big Dreams, and God Bless you and God Bless the United States of America!

Keep fighting the good fight – “GET BACK UP!”