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Today is Independence Day in the United States.  More commonly referred to as the 4th of July, it’s a day marked with much celebration in the US, with barbeques, picnics, family vacations, department store sales, and fireworks.

Historically,  this is a  federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain.

It is a day not only of remembrance of our nation’s history and of the foundation in which our country was built upon, but a day in which we are reminded that we are the heirs of Liberty and Freedom, those virtues that were secured for us by those that sought out and fought for a better future far beyond what they themselves would ever see.

It’s a day that reminds us that each day can be a new beginning, a spark that can change our entire world.

As Albert Camus once wrote, “Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better.”

So whether you’re in the US celebrating or across the world, today, I remind you all to be better.  Be your own spark, your own change, your own catalyst to a happier, healthier, better you.  A you that is proud of your decisions, proud of your work, and proud of the life you are building.

Whether you are secure in your career or struggling through the depths of unemployment, let go of your regrets, learn from your mistakes and misfortunes, build a better tomorrow, and most of all, believe.

Believe in your dreams, believe in your actions and your words, believe in the spark you have burning inside of you to change your own history.  And in moments of self doubt, remember, it was men and women no more or less than yourself that changed the course of history time and time again.

No matter how big your troubles may seem, focus on your dreams, even the smallest ones, for these will grow in time and cast a greater shadow over any burdens you felt before.

Spread joy in the journey that is ahead of you. For it is the journey that will give you the greater satisfaction in achieving your goals.  Without great struggle we know not what it is we have worked so hard for.

Be that spark and that burning light inside of yourself and do not be afraid to share that light–you will not shine any less bright by helping to light another’s flame.

Believe in a better tomorrow and every day shall be brighter, lit by your own spark.

So, Happy 4th of July to everyone! (Oh, and to our northern neighbors, Happy belated Canada Day!)

And with that, I share with you some other great thoughts for the day:

Freedom has its life in the hearts, the actions, the spirit of men and so it must be daily earned and refreshed – else like a flower cut from its life-giving roots, it will wither and die.  ~Dwight D. Eisenhower

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.  ~Louis D. Brandeis

Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. ~ John F Kennedy

We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.  ~Robert J. McCracken

If our country is worth dying for in time of war let us resolve that it is truly worth living for in time of peace.  ~Hamilton Fish

Without freedom, no one really has a name.  ~Milton Acorda

America is another name for opportunity. Our whole history appears like a last effort of divine providence on behalf of the human race. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I wish that every human life might be pure transparent freedom.  ~Simone de Beauvoir

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.  ~William Faulkner

How often we fail to realize our good fortune in living in a country where happiness is more than a lack of tragedy.  ~Paul Sweeney

There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.  ~William J. Clinton

A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. ~ John F Kennedy

I believe in America because we have great dreams – and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true. ~ Wendell L. Wilkie

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