Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Today, in the United States, we celebrate our Independence Day. Two hundred and thirty-six years ago, Thomas Jefferson wrote we have the "unalienable right" to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Many of us won't be thinking about the Declaration of Independence or the meaning behind today's celebration, instead spending out time cooking, drinking, BBQing, socializing with family and friends and shooting off fireworks. There is nothing wrong with any of these things, in fact, I hope everyone spends today relaxing and doing the things they love to do.

We will probably never know all the intentions of the Founding Fathers (though we like to believe we do), but we can be certain they risked their lives for our freedom. The same can be said for the men and women (and dogs) who have served in our armed forces in the many wars and conflicts we have had since the Declaration was signed. Spend a few moments today thinking of the sacrifices countless people have made, seen and unseen, to allow your celebrations today.

No matter where you live or who you are, you have the chance to do something meaningful with your life. The choice is yours to do what you can to put your stamp on life. You can do little and sleepwalk through life or you can make the choice to do something great. This greatness doesn't have to be appear great or even be understandable to others. It only has to matter to you. We all have our own paths to follow, but the choice is yours to blaze a path that means something to you. A small group of people came together 236 years ago and started on the path to create a new country. They risked everything for a belief and we celebrate their bravery today.

Most of us probably won't have the opportunity to do something so monumental, but what we choose to do today will matter tomorrow. We have the ability to help create a better world for generations to come and leave a mark that will be remembered. The choice is in all of our hands. Do we continue to do the minimum required to get through life or do we want to celebrate life and actually live it? When we are older, do we really want to look back and say I made it through without taking many risks and without getting hurt? Or, would you rather look back and say I grabbed hold and lived my life and did things I never imagined were possible?

The choice is yours, but I urge you to spend a little time today to think about the life you are living. Think about all the sacrifices that have been made by others to give you the life you have. Find what really matters to you and do it. Figure out what sets your soul on fire each morning and do more of it. Dream amazing dreams and then chase them. Create amazing art to share with the world. Be who you want to be and don't let anyone else pull you down. We only have this one chance to get things right...what do you want to be remembered for doing?

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