Firstly, I think the 4th is an abused holiday. I don't think people really appreciate and take into consideration why we are celebrating. It isn't just an event to get together with your friends and drink. It is a day to reflect on the work our founding fathers did to reach independence. To me, their act was one of complete courage. To break from a country you have always been tied to, away from the king, and establish a democratic republic in defiance. It was an act of bravery and one I have never fully experienced myself...
A lot of people are all talk and no action. They say," Some day I am going to do this.. And I am going to have no debts... And I'll be able to pay taxes on my own." And even if they do progress as a person and get closer to this self-reliance, most ultimately return because it is hard to break free from what you have always known. Even if the new situation is better, it may be looked down upon by others so you feel that you musn't go through with it. Inside there is a pull between what your heart says and what society has trained you to think. If the founders of our country had sat back and said,"This monarchy is oppressing, but oh well" then our country never would have been built up to the power and grandeur it has become today.
It is also important to note that once you reach this state of freedom, you don't abuse it. You take necessary steps to be able to thrive happily, but you don't make it a place where others are suffering on your behalf. Every action should be done with careful thought as to how its outcome will firstly benefit you and then affect others. If the government was selfish in its acts, then slavery wouldn't have been eliminated and who knows, the government could have looked more tyrannical than representative. In 1776, when we broke free we weren't just declaring an end to suppression, we were spurring a beginning of rights for all. Rights I realized upon returning from China are ever precious to a greater well-being because one has the ability here to pursue any niche that seems interesting at any time.
On a last note, I thought Calvin Coolidge's words from his speech celebrating the 150th anniversary of Independence Day captured its essence well:
"About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers."