President Biden has called this July Fourth holiday, America’s 245th birthday, the celebration of “a summer of freedom.” In contrast to the summer of 2020 — when an untamed virus kept us all in lockdown — we are venturing out again and reexperiencing, face to face, our connection.
Crowds joyfully gathering. Fireworks dazzling in skies across America. Live music helping us to feel alive again. All made possible by our joining together to overcome the pandemic — and walking together up the road to our nation’s recovery.
This July, we celebrate our independence by honoring our interdependence.
Pledging to each other
In voting to break away from Britain, our county’s founders were not at first in unison. July 1, 1776, nine of the original 13 colonies said yes, but representatives from Pennsylvania and South Carolina voted no. Delaware was split on the question, and New York abstained. With continued dialogue and unwavering focus on the shared good, consensus prevailed. An enduring document was signed. A free nation was born.
Our country’s founders understood that lives and livelihoods hinged on putting aside differences and finding a unified voice. The closing line of the Declaration of Independence they signed firmly states their intentions: “We mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our Sacred Honor.”
They lit the way for us toward a timeless truth: independence goes hand-in-hand with interdependence. As we pursue our personal happiness, we must pledge ourselves, too, to the well-being of others.
Reframing our perspective
In 2021 as in 1776, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are still the rights we count on. Inalienable, meaning no one can take them from us. Yet in the divisions that block our way to common-ground solutions, these rights are too often in harm’s way.
“This July, we declare independence from the divisions that keep us apart.”
In times that have tested us beyond measure, it’s time to check how well we’re doing in the work our founders passed on to us. It’s time to remember that our connectedness to each other, our interdependence, enables our independence and makes democracy work. It’s time to realize that #5050x2028, bringing roughly half women and half men to the table in elected offices throughout our nation — all of us for the benefit of all of us — is how we will solve the problems and open the opportunities that await.
While as a nation, we continue to be a work in progress, this much is certain: our unity is our strength. We are all bound together as Americans, and so much more unites us than divides us. We thrive when we appreciate our differences, lift each other up rather than put each other down, and tap into the power of our shared humanity.
This July, we declare independence from the divisions that keep us apart. Our interdependence — our ability to create together a diverse, tolerant, and united community — will carry us forward as the land of the free.
©2021 Women’s Campaign Fund
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