The fireworks are over. Our annual celebration of the remarkable values and promises we once declared, but have too-oft forgotten, has passed.

Now what?

What will we do with this independence, this freedom, this privilege? Will we hoard it or share it freely with others?

Will we explore it, peeling back it’s rich and complex layers to fully understand what freedom means – and the risk and responsibility that comes with it –  or will we set it on a shelf, dusting it off only when company comes for dinner?

What will we do with this gift of privilege we have created for ourselves, often on the shackled backs of those we named as “other”?

What we do next determines whether we are truly free, or imprisoned by our fear of losing that privilege.

And what actually happens next depends (as it always has) on how we name ourselves in this present moment.

Who, exactly, are “we the people” – in our families, communities and schools, at the corner store and the ballgame, and in our national and global relationships. Who, exactly, are “we the people”?

Everything that happens next flows from the answer to this one question.

Totally, completely, 100% up to us.

Free to declare who we are and who we intend to be.

*****

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