For many people in the United States, July 4th is a day off and a summertime ritual that includes a barbeque and fireworks. Yet July 4th is so much more than that.

In the US it’s a recognition and celebration of the point in time when the States declared their independence from Britain. It was a bold move with a bold premise:

“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.”

Yet, as we know, this hasn’t really been the case. In a wonderful Aspen Institute blog, The Paradox of the Declaration of Independence, Leslie Greene Bowman of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello shares her thinking on this paradox.

In the article, she describes 10 things to consider about this inspiring quote and the lived realities. At the same time, she, like so many of us, is grateful for the inspiration this quote provides to this day.

Spend some time this week considering your experience of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the ways you can contribute to bringing this truth to life throughout America.