Backyard barbecues, picnics, fireworks, family get togethers, feasting on hot dogs are all part of our Independence Day celebrations. And these current day festivities can be traced back to the momentous signing of the declaration of independence on July 4, 1776. On that day 56 men representing the 13 colonies signed the declaration, which was penned by Thomas Jefferson. And with that America declared herself free from Great Britain; free politically, socially and economically.
While this definition of independence still holds true today, there are other factors that shape our definition of independence as well. Independence means different things to different people and our responses differ based not just on where we live geographically, but also on our financial standing, our religious upbringing, our gender, and our age. For example, someone living and working in this country would define independence rather differently than someone living and working in North Korea. A woman and a man would come up with different definitions.
For us at Shazzy Fitness, independence means several things as well.
Kristy McCarley, CEO of Shazzy Fitness, defines independence as "a mindset, more than just the notion of freedom in a legal sense. It is freedom of the mind and spirit - where one's thoughts and actions are not ruled by fear, but instead are fueled by the desire to be completely and consistently true to the divine purpose that is uniquely assigned to every one of us."
Vera Musgrove, star of the faith-based dance workout DVD, Shazzy Fitness: In the Beginning, defines independence as "freedom to follow one's own path. It is honoring and respecting traditions and history, but being free and independent in what feels true to self."
Apollo Levine, star of the Christian hip-hop dance fitness DVD, Shazzy Fitness: A Time to Dance, has a similar definition - "freedom to be your authentic self and to be exactly who you were created to be".
Freedom and independence can therefore be seen as two sides of the same coin. So are you only independent if you are free? Can you be one but not the other? And what does independence mean to you in 2014?
Please leave us a comment! We'd love to hear what independence means to you.