The declaration of Independence is not freedom from colonial powers any more than an award of a degree or certificate is a proof of an end to education or a freedom from ‘learning’. Men strive to be free forgetting and/or ignoring the fact that “with freedom comes responsibility”. Very often, unfortunately, we focus so much on gaining freedom without evaluating the level of adjoining responsibilities.
When we were in school, education happened to us. The courses we took were decided and chosen for us by the faculty. We exerted our power to choose only with respect to the ‘electives’. There was a particular standard that we were made to adhere to via rules and regulations. Students that neglected these set of laws failed to make the desired grade to pass that class, and in some cases were asked to repeat the year.
After school however, for the few who may not have tasted or realized it yet, you are welcomed to the ‘real world’. This realization however occurs at different stAGEs for different people. Even though time and chance happens to all men, only the prepared recognize opportunity when it knocks. Hence, neither age nor stage is a good determinant of your entry into the ‘Real World’.
For those of us that have served our time as formal students, and subsequently earned our freedom/independence from faculties and school authorities; we have had to individually choose to study, choose our career paths or vocations, and to educate ourselves and/or improve upon ourselves and skill sets at our discretion.
Independence is a decision to be self-reliant. By definition, it refers to autonomy, sovereignty, liberty, self-determination and the freedom from reliance on others socially, mentally, physically, economically, emotionally (i.e. for food, health, education, agriculture, etc). With this definition, it is clearly not a mere moniker or nomenclature but a state of mind. Real freedom is internal.
You can seemingly have an outward master and yet be the ‘brain’ or productive center that your master relies upon to propel his business forward. This probably explains why upwardly mobile organizations poach talents from competition in order to boost their productivity. By observing and asking people questions, you learn a lot without being too obvious.
On the other hand, in very extraordinary cases, you may be “independent” ~ free of outward controls and yet lack clear vision or direction for your future, be deficient in self governance and goals worthy of pursuit and thus be totally unproductive with respect to the things that truly matter (i.e. issues geared towards growth and development).
The Independence Day Celebration of 2010, with its very alarming budget, was an eye-opener. It shows that we need as individuals and as a Nation, to reflect on the true meaning conveyed by the word “independence” and work (or walk as the case may be), towards making our independence a reality. “Integrity starts with “I” so “we must be the change we wish to see in our nation”; so help us God.