In a few days, we will celebrate the 246th anniversary of the original Independence Day. This celebration is in remembrance of the creation of an independent country that could govern itself, free to decide and enforce its own laws. Eighty-seven years later, when Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, the words “our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” remind us of the responsibility of protecting and nurturing our democratic republic.
In between the parades and barbecues, we should take a few minutes to reflect on the implications of these words in the context of today’s world.
- July 4th, 1776 marked the beginning – not the end – of an ongoing struggle to develop a nation based on equality for all. While progress has been made, struggles in an effort to protect the rights of women, minorities, the gay community, the elderly, the poor, the mentally ill, and others continues.
- Democracy is not a global phenomenon. Recent events in the Ukraine and other countries remind us that freedom is not a given for many people in the world. The impact of these conflicts impacts us – not only economically but as human beings.
- The very definition of “freedom” has changed. Our forefathers thought of democracy and freedom as the ability to participate in the political process. While this is still part of the narrative, the focus today is often on freedom in our personal lives.
Achieving freedom in our personal lives is also redefining how work is done in America and around the globe. Talent scarcity is creating new work models that offer greater choice in how and where work will be done and is forging new relationships between workers and the companies that engage them.
Let’s take time to reflect on ways in which as a professional we can contribute to the promise of a nation dedicated to freedom, prosperity, and equality for all.
We wish you a happy Independence Day!