When thinking of the document that marked the beginning of our nation, our minds often bring to the forefront the Continental Congress’ declaration of certain inalienable rights: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. We forget about the weight of responsibility, the careful consideration of intent, and even the evidence of men wrestling with an impossible choice that colors each and every word on the page.
The Echoes of Conviction
As I read through the Declaration of Independence in its entirety again this morning I was struck by the power of a conviction so strong it is still palpable after more than 200 years. These men had come to a difficult decision, they made their case before God and men, and although they were ready and willing to do what they saw they must, you can feel the ache of sadness and the overwhelming desire that the situation did not warrant the course of action they were about to embark upon.
I can’t see the Founding Father’s faces. I will never be able to interview them on their thoughts as they drafted, penned, and signed such an explosive document. And I don’t need to. Everything I need to know is already on this page.
Which left me wondering: Should any of my writing survive centuries into the future would my words capture the depth of my convictions, or would they simply be letters on a page?