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Happy Fourth of July! Fireworks, picnics, flag-waving, parades, BOAT parades. That’s what the Fourth of July calls to mind. If, however, the holiday is called by its other name – Independence Day – the historical aspects of the day come to the fore. The Declaration of Independence, the Founding Fathers, the throwing off of the shackles of tyranny, FREEDOM! Woot!

At New Year’s, many in society make all kinds of resolutions, promising themselves that the new year will be positively transformative. By February, most of those resolutions have gone by the wayside.

What if we used Independence Day as a psychological goal to keeping those resolutions? It’s around the half-way point in the year and seems much more doable than December 31.

Or, better yet, what if we used Independence Day as a prod to become more independentĀ  in our lives? We could decide to extract ourselves from a rotten situation, or start seriously questioning what the talking heads [name your talking head*] are telling us, rather than accepting their words as gospel. We could escape the tyranny of our own negative thoughts and self-imposed stressful circumstances. There are plenty of things from which we can declare our independence.

Independence is not a given on every level, even if you live in the Land of the Free. We have to keep fighting for it.

Happy Independence Day, everyone!

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[In the spirit of the day, here are some wallpapers showing fireworks that were compiled by Lifehacker. I’ve chosen number 5 for my computer.]

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*Note [later on the Fourth]: When I say “talking head” here, I don’t mean someone you disagree with. It’s easy to bitch about people whose ideology you can’t stand. There isn’t much risk in that, thus there’s no struggle for independence. Instead, try questioning a talking head you agree with, rather than buying everything they say with a loaf of bread and a jar of honey. When you can critically take apart the argument of someone you normally agree with, that’s a true display of independence.

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