Are in Your hands.
They can only be
For you and your posterity
As long as You are willing
To Take a Stand and shed Your Blood
To preserve them.
“Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature.”
— Samuel Adams, The Rights of the Colonists, The Report of the Committee of Correspondence to the Boston Town Meeting, Nov. 20, 1772
No One saved a life, without first acknowledging (consciously or unconsciously) that they were willing to forfeit their own lives for the sake of another.
No One created a substantial fortune, without first risking, and in many cases, sacrificing all of it. And as hard as it is to fathom, most fortunes are made in the service of others; providing goods and services to those who might not be able to provide that product or service for themselves.
No One has gained true honor, without first exhibiting great humility. If you do not know what it is like to be the lowest of the low, while still humbly serving and honoring others, including those in authority over you, then you will never know the great responsibility carried by those who are worthy of true honor.
None of these virtues can be bought.
None of these values can be given.
ALL of these values must be earned by putting them into practice now… for the benefit of our posterity.
The Founders knew what was at stake when they signed the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: They knew they were going to sacrifice their Lives, their Fortunes, their Sacred Honor. They didn’t sacrifice everything for their own benefit. Nothing they did was for themselves….
They sacrificed everything for us… for NOW.
For now. We are their posterity.
While you’re pondering that idea, think about how we as a nation, are showing our appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who gave it all so that you and I can live free.
How are we vigilantly guarding, protecting and honoring our freedoms and liberties? Are you willing to sacrifice your life, fortune and sacred honor for future generations you will never know? What will you do? Where will you stand in your lifetime, that will give future generations pause to remember and honor… you?
Where would YOU have stood if you were them? Where do you stand now? What will the generations that come say about you, after you are dead and gone?
Will they say anything at all?
Or will they share the sentiment of Sam Adams?
If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.
We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
~ Samuel Adams
Martin Luther wasn’t trying to be a great leader or famous or even influential. He just had something to say, that needed to be said.
Martin Luther TOOK A STAND; not by doing something heroic, but rather because he simply had something important to say. He probably thought what he was doing was no big deal and wouldn’t amount to anything. He committed thought to action. After that… God did the rest. And history was changed.
Martin Luther was no hero. He was a regular guy, for a theologian. And like all normal guys who end up becoming entrenched in history, I like to believe that he didn’t have a clue that by thumbtacking his thesis to a wall for others to read (this was how one posted their ideas before Facebook came along) he was going to change the course of religious and Western culture forever.
Every great leader or hero never thought what they were doing was great, or heroic. (Just try to tell a veteran what a special hero he is/was.)
But all people who history eventually looks back on usually share one trait: they all took a leap of faith and did something right because it was the right thing to do; not because what they did was going to make them famous, or heroic or powerful. Humility seems to be the birthplace of those whom history remembers. History.com illustrates this phenomenon by repeating a well-worn myth about how Luther’s “95 Theses” came to be:
Legend says Martin Luther was inspired to launch the Protestant Reformation while seated comfortably on the chamber pot. That cannot be confirmed, but in 2004 archeologists discovered Luther’s lavatory, which was remarkably modern for its day, featuring a heated-floor system and a primitive drain.
Whatever the origin, it’s hard to deny that many of the great heroes and influential people throughout world history started out humbly saying, “I Will Stand…” then they did it. History takes over from there.
When hasn’t tyranny during the the worst of times, brought out the best among men of honor?
The question is: When our country appears to be at its darkest, will you stand with patriots and be the the beacon that leads to liberty? Upon what authority will you cling, for principles that have stood the test of time?
Will you be a part of a ‘French’ revolution or an ‘American Revolution?’ Are you wise enough to know the difference?
The founders pledged their lives, fortunes and honor for an idea… THE Idea. Not a government. Never a person.
I WILL STAND… Alone if God wills. I will rely on divine providence. Will others stand with me? God knows. Only YOU know. If you can look in the mirror and make a covenant between you and God, to defend the IDEA that is America… Then we are brothers. Compatriots.
For those who still believe that “we” need to do something and “someone” needs to organize… may your chains be light on you as you go on your way.
Change begins in the heart. Change never comes from the ‘we’ … Change begins with “I Will.” Change becomes real with “I Will Stand.”
Now that we are thinking (a little) about the ideas of independence, freedom, liberty and the founding principles that made America the greatest nation in the world, this is probably a good time to choose whether you will live like a person determined to be free… or not.
These aren’t shallow words, but what do they mean? They were written by Brigadier General Anthony Wayne in a short letter to George Washington after they won an important victory at Stony Point. Wayne was wounded by a bullet in his head. It was said he had to write this letter to Washington before he would let them take the bullet out of his head. The letter read:
Stoney Point [N.Y.]
16th July 1779 2 OClock a.m.
Are you living like a person determined to be free?
Are Americans living like a people determined to be free?
How are we going to get this feeling back? Fireworks and cookouts certainly aren’t doing the trick.
I’m convinced that the only way to return to the kind of American exceptionalism that founded this nation, is to encourage you, to look in the mirror and say… to believe… “I want to live like a person determined to be free.” Then you convince the next person, then another.
“You and I have the courage to say there is a price we will not pay. There is a point beyond which they must not advance… you and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We’ll preserve for our children this, the last best hope on earth.”
~ Ronald Reagan
History is made when one person, does a humble act, then others follow. There will never be a great leader of nations from the start. Don’t wait for others to lead. Don’t ask whether others will stand on the principles our Founders pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to uphold and defend.
Do look in the mirror and pledge to yourself, your family and to future generations:
“If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace.
“We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.”
~ Samuel Adams