The Declaration of Independence includes the statement: “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.” To understand a little background, I need to point out that there were only thirteen states at the time of that writing. It had been a long hard fought battle to break away from England. England had been the land of serfs, slaves and debtors’ prisons. The people were not treated fairly, and the representatives of the people were determined life did not have to be that way. People were already beginning to have different religious views, such as believing or not believing in a higher power. Everyone did agree that voters should have the right to elect leaders according to the most votes. America has always, and continues to be democratic, in that the majority of votes win. Although people profess to have the same belief systems now, and feel we have evolved, there are just as many problems now as then. Leaders often had less than desirable outcomes.
We still believe that each person was created equal. It is our belief that due to unforeseen circumstances, and for whatever reason, there is a separation of people. Education certainly separates people. Often disease, or financial stresses can cripple a livelihood-even a whole family to the point that it is not easy to recover from and it takes its toll. Those who are more fortunate should help those who are less fortunate. In that sense, we are our brother’s keeper, but only as long as he continues to help himself. Once the tide turns, he is expected to pick up the pieces and rebuild. The responsibility of repayment is to give to others. There is usually no way to repay those who gave to you.
For the most part, I believe the fundamental text in the Declaration of Independence and other such documents should be absolutes. However, the morality has changed for many of the people in today’s world. Everyone does not have to hold the same moral system that I do. Freedom is what makes this nation great. Freedom to live in our society any way we choose is why our forefathers fought. It is a shame we cannot all live together in harmony as America was intended. “Your rights end where my rights begin,” means that while we may have different beliefs and customs, you cannot force your behavior on me. Each individual must be strong enough in his or her own convictions, that they must not be swayed by their neighbor.