As we celebrate our Declaration of Independence, I am humbled by those who fought with great determination, though clearly at a disadvantage, so that I can live free. It makes me wonder. How did we ever do it? What would have clearly been a recipe for disaster brought about victory.
So… if the recipe wasn’t for disaster… it must have been a recipe for independence. As a mom who loves sharing recipes it makes me wonder, what are the ingredients?
Let me offer some thoughts as to what those ingredients might be.
Unity. Though not everyone completely agreed with the idea of a revolution and going against their present form of government, once it was determined that it was the right thing to do, they stood together. Equally important to note, no one person acted alone. It took a large number of willing people to make our independence possible. From the drafters of the Declaration to the soldiers who fought and died, we could not have done it without unity.
Negotiation. The colonists came from a variety of backgrounds. Not everyone shared a common vision of what a United States would look like. And certainly not everyone even initially agreed that they needed to take such drastic action as full rebellion. They negotiated extensively with Britain and tried many angles for reconciliation before determining the rightful course was to declare independence. During the years following the official declaration, those negotiations continued….
Intrepidation. I’m sure there was plenty of uncertainty and fear surrounding the idea of declaring independence and everything that would mean. Luckily, there were enough who were fearless and willing to move forward with boldness. If not for them, I doubt much would have changed for the colonists.
Trust. They had to trust each other as they came together and faced an uncertain future. I don’t believe trust was given lightly. They took the time to earn each other’s trust. And, most importantly, they didn’t take it for granted.
Education. Our founding fathers didn’t lead the colonists without having done an enormous amount of research, educating themselves on the issues and difficulties they faced. They knew what was going on in Britain. They made efforts to see what other options were available and researched the possible outcomes of each. They didn’t just stumble upon the idea of independence. They studied the topic extensively and considered what entitled them to such a bold act. And they shared their findings by including an explanation in the Declaration itself.
Determination. It’s no easy task trying to get a variety of sprawled colonies to get together and fight for a common cause. It took an enormous amount of determination to overcome obstacle after obstacle. It took an enormous amount of determination to face the better funded and the more numerous opponent…. and win.
243 years after that declaration I believe if we follow this recipe, we will remain UNITED.