The Beat of the Drum

“The thunderbolt falls on an inch of ground, but the light of it fills the horizon…”

Ralph Waldo Emerson~

The beat of the drum summoning the minutemen into battle has fallen silent, and the ink that created some of the most astounding words in history has dried.  What was at stake was not simply independence from another country but an ideal that man had the right to govern himself and live free.  Today, some 233 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, we pause and reflect back to this particular day when mortal men created immortal words and changed not only the history of a people declaring themselves independent but also the idea of what that freedom entailed.

It is us, mere men, who must live up to the words that we set forth on this day, and sometimes, over the course of human events, we have failed to do just that.  But through time and with the help of good people who were willing to remind us of our wrongs that these lapses in judgments were corrected.  It is up to us, mere mortal men, to remind government that their powers are derived from the consent of the governed…and that includes those groups that are oppressed and who are often slighted.

“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. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Declaration of Independence (1776)~

There are rifts in today’s society that leave some of us unequal and vulnerable to a government that is unwilling to listen and unwilling to change.  And yet, as has happened before all those years ago, there are those who are willing to stand up and take charge and remind us all that we Are created equal…even if we don’t agree with each other.

So though the guns have fallen silent at places like Lexington and Concord, Bunker Hill, Trenton, and Yorktown, the fight for freedom still continues.  It is not freedom from a nation that we seek now, but rather freedom from our own flaws and narrow thoughts…to gain an enlightened and more open stance on the issues that divide us.  And though we are mere mortals and our time is finite, history has proven that the words we use today can have a ripple affect well into our future.  We can once again create that lightning bolt that fills the horizon.

It is up to us…the rightful owners of our government…to make sure that Our government lives up to the words that were declared on this date in 1776.  Without open and enlightened minds, the masses can bring about tyranny and oppression.  And therefore, upon this date, I reaffirm my own commitment to my nation and to my fellow man that so long as there is injustice being committed against my community, my pen shall never fall silent and my thoughts shall not waiver.  The truest sense of freedom is at stake, and I will not shrink from my responsibility.  After all, as I’ve written before, “the future is ours to write,” and we shall not shrink from our responsibility to future generations.  The beat of the drum is sounding again.

“I am imbarked on a wide ocean, boundless in its prospect and from whence, perhaps, no safe harbour is to be found.”

George Washington~


One Response to The Beat of the Drum

  1. Elizabeth Beier says:

    The part of this that I found the most poignant is…

    Without open and enlightened minds, the masses can bring about tyranny and oppression.

    aka., prop 8.
    See, lots of people think that the “will of the people” is this ultimate, godly good… that if the most people think it, it must be right. And I think that that is a better mindset than other forms of government… like, “whatever one royal person thinks, must be right”. But it is important to be enlightened as one of the people who have a say in the government as a result of democracy. And it’s important to enlighten those around us.

    Just because millions of people think something doesn’t make it so.

    Writing is a good tool for enlightenment… looking forward to seeing you in the fall and working with you for gay rights!

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