Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day to all my compatriots! Being that I am in the United Kingdom for the holiday (…and for some strange reason they do not celebrate the Fourth of July here. Curious!) I am, at work today. There is an old riddle which asks if they have the 4th of July in the United Kindgom. The answer is, of course they do! They just don't celebrate it as a holiday.

We do in The States, however, and I'll be damned if I let it pass unmarked. This evening after work, I have invited a few of my friends that I have made while visiting the United Kingdom to my place for a barbecue. It is a bit of a celebration, but not really an Independence Day Celebration. For one thing, the whole concept of Independence is one that I have been thinking about of late.

While I believe that it is possible to be truly independent, it is definitely not a life that I would willing choose. We all depend on our friends and families. They make us who we are and contribute so greatly to our lives. As the seventeenth century priest and metaphysical poet, John Donne said: “No Man Is An Island.”

I cannot imagine being completely independent and would never want to be. I am a social animal and my family and friends are incredibly important to me. I know what I get from my relationships with those I have chosen to share myself, my time, and my life with. I only hope that whatever they get from me in return it is even half as rewarding to them as it is to me.

So, on this Independence Day, I can only wish that wherever you are, you have people in your life that you can depend upon!

Don Bergquist - 04 July 2006 - Thames Ditton, Surrey, UK
(Have a happy and safe Independence Day!)

Meditation XVII
By John Donne

...No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee...

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