We had a wide ranging discussion on the value of freedom in life, business and the idea of free thought and the choice to think freely. You can catch the episode here Today's episode made me think about the 56 signers and their thought process and ideas and ideals about freedom. At the time in 1776 there were only 2.5 million people living in the colonies in a land mass ranging from New England to the Carolinas. Today that’s a borough of NYC or a corner of Pennsylvania. And yet their idea of freedom and liberty was so challenged they may as well have lived in the times we do where freedom of thought on just about anything is so utterly challenged and seemingly so many are packed into one small box of groupthink and acceptance. I’m sure throughout the 11 years from the signing of the Declaration of Independence through to 1787 when the Constitution was ratified and brought to life there were many challenges to their thoughts and ideals. We know this to be true, their thoughts led to war. Their arguments in the paper and town square had them shouted down, canceled, put in the stockades. We know some were tortured, killed and ruined. Those who agreed with them, and carried on their work at local levels met with the same vitriol. Their ideals led to much needed change, if people were to truly live a life of freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness they simply could not live under a dictatorship. And today it seems some are all too happy to live and accept a dictatorship of thought and control over themselves. Be it technocrats, media, or government some truly do live under dictatorial edict of thought. No questions allowed, no ideas or challenges permitted. Unless of course it’s not your group/party/person in charge if in opposition it is completely ok to challenge and speak up. At some point we lost our way, and now we must come back to one another with one idea in mind that freedom of thought and the ability to question, challenge and decide for ourselves is paramount and this needs to be done without the need to draw battle lines, cancel or belittle one another.
Being open to discussion and challenges is what brought the signers together. A nation which welcomes the freedom of thought, question and discussion is one that is powerful and unstoppable because ultimately that desire and curiosity is what grows us as a people and nation.
The 56 signers had a common goal and were willing to discuss how to get there, together. We should honor them and do the same.