Why do we still celebrate Independence Day?
It is a rhetorical question because today’s Independence Day has become a mindless habit instated within the national holiday calenders? Devoid of any meaning or purpose, no longer does the nation today honor the values, ideals and beliefs for which our Founders fought, so what is it exactly that we all get a holiday for? The idealist answer of course is to ‘celebrate the nation” for striving, for succeeding, for being.
Practically though, is that what we are doing? On a day that marks the anniversary of the toils and struggle of men fighting for collective rights of freedom, the same day today passes by with little importance. The more patriotic of us may put the flag on the roof of our houses, perhaps even wear the colour of the flag itself, but the significance of the creation of the flag will bypass our thoughts entirely.
Today should be a day of reflecting, of remembering how it is that we took our first steps as a nation and what paths we are on now. If we had the courage to look in the mirror and see how woefully we have squandered our founders’ legacy, this day would be a day not of celebration but of atonement, and of the beginnings of the promise of true change and reform. After all if 65 years ago, a few men could work together, why cant we?
Gandhi once said “Men often become what they believe themselves to be. If I believe I cannot do something, it makes me incapable of doing it. But when I believe I can, then I acquire the ability to do it even if I didn’t have it in the beginning”. Lets believe shall we?
Give some thought to what we have lost as we mark another Independence Day, and to what we still could stand to gain if we tried.