September 25, 2018

Happy Birthday America! A July 4th Celebration of Unity and Separation

Happy Birthday America! A July 4th Celebration of Unity and Separation

Happy Birthday America! A July 4th Celebration of Unity and Separation

The birth of a nation like the birth of a child celebrates unity and separation simultaneously. The child is born and exists outside the mother’s body as a separate entity and at the same time becomes a part of an expanded family unit. So it is with countries. When America was born in 1776, she became a separate entity existing outside of Great Britain. America’s Declaration of Independence celebrated the country’s separateness at the same time it established the unity of an extended family of American citizenry.

Most discussions focus on the benefits of unity – few examine the advantages of separateness. Our country is young but our Founding Fathers had centuries of European history to teach them the value of separateness.

In trying to form a more perfect union our Founding Fathers examined the political systems of their day and rejected them all. They said NO to monarchies, NO to totalitarianism, NO to authoritarianism, NO to theocracies, and NO to every form of collectivism that prioritizes the group over the individuals in it.

Separateness from Great Britain, separation of church and state, and the separateness of the individual were essential to American freedom, liberty, and upward mobility. On July 4, 1776 the Continental Congress voted to adopt the Declaration of Independence and declared their separateness as the United States of America.

For almost two centuries people came to America in search of religious freedom and the opportunity for upward mobility that was the American dream. Coming to America was a chance to be free of monarchies, theocracies, caste systems, and authoritarian, totalitarian political systems demanding subservience to the state. America was the land of opportunity because it was the land of individualism, the meritocracy, and upward mobility.

For almost two centuries, from the pioneer days until the end of WWII, American culture and institutions supported traditional American values of individualism and the meritocracy. America’s children were encouraged to grow up, work hard, and become productive emotionally ADULT members of society. Love of country was reinforced with history lessons and student recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Love of family was supported with social norms that reinforced marriage and family life. Love of God was reinforced with the moral and ethical teachings of the church. Patriotic nationalism was the unifying principle of the extended American family that transcended differences among individuals, individual families, religions, and political views.

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Linda Goudsmit is a devoted wife to husband Rob and they are the parents of four children and the grandparents of four. She and Rob owned and operated a girls clothing store in Michigan for 40 years and retired a few years ago to the beaches of sunny Florida. A graduate of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor (B.A. in English literature), Linda has a lifelong commitment to learning and is an avid reader and observer of life. She is the author of Dear America: Who’s Driving the Bus? as well as a children’s series in development, Mimi’s STRATEGY. It is with pride and humility that she is sharing her thoughts, observations, and philosophy of behavior in the many articles she has written that are featured on this website.Source: Canada Free Press

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