Declaring Independence

Driving to New York today for the holiday, I was lucky to catch a reading of the Declaration of Independence on the radio. I couldn’t help but wonder what our founding fathers would think if they lived in our society today. What would they think of our current pursuits of happiness? Would they find it strange that we spend a great deal of time outside of our homes, working tirelessly and stressing about how to balance work and home life? Would they disagree with the tremendous power that Corporate America wields over the citizens?

I am reminded of a terrific commentary in my current summer read, Shannon Hayes’ Radical Homemakers. In it, she notes that it was not only the founding fathers who declared independence from Britain’s rule. It was families, too. Each deciding what they valued, what they believed in, what they wanted for the future, and making decisions to live by those convictions- boycotting British imports, refusing to serve British tea.

I love that Shannon Hayes pointed out this detail because it really humanizes the uprising afoot. I like to imagine the conversations between spouses at that time in history, and the choices that women made as they purchased goods and provided for their families.

On this Independence Day, I like to consider the purchases I make and the business owners I support as I provide for my family. What do my choices say about my values? What do I want for my community and the future? Where can I make changes to bring those aspects of my life more in-line? I am inspired by the bravery and conviction of those who have come before.  Happy 4th!
** For those who of you who are local, I will be hosting a Summer Book Discussion of Shannon Hayes' book Radical Homemakers on August 1 from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Cross' Mills Public Library in Charlestown, RI.  Please pick up a copy of this inspiring book today and join us for a lively conversation! **

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