Man is born free, and everywhere is in chains.

Rousseau, certainly a man of some well-known weaknesses, was brilliant to say this, just a few years ago now.

Of course, it was then far from literally correct. And he said this as a citizen of Geneva, arguably one of the places on this planet with the most freedom in that day (~1762). Still, it was true symbolically even if the chains were not literally true, both then and to this day.

Today, July 4, is most appropriate for any Virginian, and indeed any citizen of the world, to honor the Declaration of Independence and a certain birth of freedom in this nation. This is arguably the one document that has given people more freedom than any other single act of mankind. And, of course, not just to citizens in the USA.

We know several phrases well.

When in the course of human events…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

…appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,

with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

We, too, must continue to fight for freedom. We may fight for it using Scrum or Agile or Lean, and certainly this is an important fight. But, we cannot say that the courage these daily fights require of us can measure against the courage of a red-haired man in Philadelphia in 1776. He, John Hancock and their fellows knew, for a certainty, that if they did not win the war, they would be killed — likely hanged in public.

Let us again learn from this. Let us rededicate ourselves to the fight. For freedom, which can so easily in the search for security in a difficult world can roll backward. Let us fight with our arms, backs and voices, to continue to roll it forward.




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