Here in the USA this week we’re celebrating Independence Day, July 4th, when the Declaration of Independence was established. It meant a fresh start for a group of people and a chance to make their own mark on the world rather than being driven by what other people told them to do. It’s an important part of US history, because without it we wouldn’t be the nation we are today.
I wasn’t a big fan of any history other than ancient Egypt or the Titanic until my junior year of high school when my history teacher helped me realize something very important: history, especially the big events like wars and kingdoms were made up of people who had individual stories, stories I could relate to. All of a sudden I realized that history was more than just a bunch of dates and dead people, these were events that had an impact on people’s personal lives, just like what goes on in our world today affects each of us.
This is what makes the Declaration of Independence especially important: it wasn’t just a document drawn up and published like many other political documents are, it was signed by 56 men who believed in their freedom, the freedom of the other people living in what would become the US at that time, and that of all of us to come.
As parents, as families, we have a responsibility to share the history of our families with our kids and significant others. Some stories are tragic, others are rags to riches stories, and others seem rather insignificant in the scheme of things, but all of them are important because they are part of who we are. Don’t be ashamed of your past or try to hide it, instead share with your family what you’ve learned and what you’re doing to make the future better than the past.