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.
As we take time from our busy work schedules to celebrate our nation's independence this Fourth of July weekend I was drawn to the words of Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. For 18 long days in June of 1776 Jefferson drafted some of the most powerful words ever written in American history.
Over 200 years later I am still challenged by this document. I am reminded that "All men" are created equal and I have no excuses because this truth is "self-evident." Jefferson was quick to point out that these Rights were unalienable and thus could only be endowed by our Creator not Government. Which makes sense when you consider that unalienable Rights are not contingent on laws. Lastly I couldn't help but notice the careful use of the phrase "among these." I believe that Jefferson wanted to give primary examples, not a complete list, of our endowed unalienable Rights.
I want to wish you a very Happy Independence Day and hope that these thoughts will help remind all of us what a great nation we live in.
PS For more interesting information about the Declaration of Independence use the link below to visit The National Archives.