Revolutionary Ideas, Even Today
July 4th 1776 saw the publication of a Declaration of Independence from the Britain, written and approved by radical idealists in Philadelphia. The ideas and ideals expressed were revolutionary then, and still are today.
Each human being is endowed with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of individual success. Those rights come not from King, or Parliament, or President, or Congress. Those rights come from the Creator and are an essential fact of human existence. Incredible!
The ideal that each of us should, and can, achieve individual success is uplifting, and terrifying. All of us strive for individual success. All of us more often fail. Those who learn from their failures, and try again, are the ones who eventually succeed.
It was clearly understood, that those who succeed are morally obligated to help others. Handouts alone merely push the problem back for a while without solving it. Teaching the values of hard work, persistence, and deferred gratification enable those others to also succeed.
More than two centuries later, we have come to define success only in terms of material possessions. We have forgotten that happiness is a state of being, not defined solely by material possessions. We have come to demand equality of results, rather than equality of opportunity. We have forgotten individual responsibility and effort.
Take a few moments today, and every day, to contemplate some revolutionary ideas: Individual Rights and Individual Responsibilities.
Jay Ginther, MD