Skip to main content

Will You Declare Independence This July 4?

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
- The Declaration of Independence, by Thomas Jefferson, U.S. President (1801-1809)
There is explicit slavery and implicit slavery, and most of us are tied up in chains of some kind.
Often we do not see these chains. Maybe we've been trained not to see them. Or somebody said that they fully ought to exist.
The lesson of July 4 is that we have the right to live in freedom. It is not only a war fought and won nearly 250 years ago. It is an aspiration, it is a way of life, it is a global dream, and it is the ultimate American value. 
We must fight for our freedom, and for the freedom of other people, every single day. We understand instinctively, very early on, that no human can be our true Creator, our boss. In the words of women's rights activist Gloria Steinem, we realize exactly this:
"You're not the boss of me."
Here is what I personally believe. None of us came into this world at random. We have a purpose given to us by the One Above. Our life is dedicated to finding and serving it. And we will account for our deeds, including how close we got to the target, when we cross into the next Existence.
All of our efforts depend on cognition. The realization that we have stuff to do over here, and we have the right to choose to do it - or not. We can get lost in glamorous illusions like money, or addicted to pursuits that waste our time. 
But the only thing that has any meaning is carrying out our mission. And we cannot do that if we are, mentally or physically, or in any way, slaves to somebody else. We must be free.
Freedom always requires a declaration, even that battle cry is only a "still small voice," as Rabbi Nachman of Breslov put it, inside your head. 
You must see yourself as equal to all others in worth. Not inherently better, and not inherently worse. In the words of Aunt Eller from the classic musical Oklahoma
"I don't say I'm no better than anybody else, but I'll be danged if I ain't just as good!"
Freedom is the joy of watching the fireworks. It is the joy of the flame that dances inside of you, when you realize that nobody can truly own you unless you give them permission.
The precious and hard-won nature of freedom makes July 4th one of my favorite holidays. There are always those petty dictators, some of them well-known and others who will be known only to you.
Freedom is an inalienable right. Know that a human being who behaves like a tyrant has no business having authority over any of them. As the Declaration states:
"A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Wishing everyone a happy, safe, and meaningful holiday.
All opinions my own. Photo and transcript of the Declaration of Independence via the National Archives and Records Administration of the United States of America. Portrait of President Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale via Wikipedia. Fireworks photo via Wikipedia.

Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between "brand positioning," "brand mantra," and "brand tagline?"

Brand positioning statement: This is a 1–2 sentence description of what makes the brand different from its competitors (or different in its space), and compelling. Typically the positioning combines elements of the conceptual (e.g., “innovative design,” something that would be in your imagination) with the literal and physical (e.g., “the outside of the car is made of the thinnest, strongest metal on earth”). The audience for this statement is internal. It’s intended to get everybody on the same page before going out with any communication products.Brand mantra: This is a very short phrase that is used predominantly by people inside the organization, but also by those outside it, in order to understand the “essence” or the “soul” of the brand and to sell it to employees. An example would be Google’s “Don’t be evil.” You wouldn’t really see it in an ad, but you might see it mentioned or discussed in an article about the company intended to represent it to investors, influencers, etc.Br…

Nitro Cold Brew and the Oncoming Crash of Starbucks

A long time ago (January 7, 2008), the Wall Street Journal ran an article about McDonald's competing against Starbucks.
At the time the issue was that the former planned to pit its own deluxe coffees head to head with the latter.
At the time I wrote that while Starbucks could be confident in its brand-loyal consumers, the company, my personal favorite brand of all time,  "...needs to see this as a major warning signal. As I have said before, it is time to reinvent the brand — now.  "Starbucks should consider killing its own brand and resurrecting it as something even better — the ultimate, uncopyable 'third space' that is suited for the way we live now.  "There is no growth left for Starbucks as it stands anymore — it has saturated the market. It is time to do something daring, different, and better — astounding and delighting the millions (billions?) of dedicated Starbucks fans out there who are rooting for the brand to survive and succeed." Today as …

Should I Add My Beer-Focused Instagram Account To My LinkedIn profile?

This is my response to a question originally posed on Quora.

The answer, like lawyers tend to say, is: “It depends.”

Not knowing what you do for a living, let’s assume that your LinkedIn profile is typical, meaning that it reflects the image of a corporate professional.

Would your boss, or a prospective employer, think badly of you for promoting your passion for beer?

Traditional product branding says that you should focus on your unique selling proposition fairly single-mindedly. Your goal is to create a space in the customer’s mind dedicated to your brand so that when they want to purchase something like it, they shortcut all alternatives and go straight to you.

So from a product branding point of view, putting a personal beer account on your professional profile is distracting. It tells an employer that you’re not totally focused on the encyclopedic and ever-evolving knowledge, skills and abilities required to do your valuable type of job.

However, people are not products, and appl…