After seeing a special tonight on PBS on the life of Benjamin Franklin, I thought it was appropriate to pull out of the archives a little meandering piece I wrote about 10 years ago on the Declaration of Independence.
Here’s the first bit …
Meaning the authors who have written this document, or in a greater sense, those who have affixed their signatures hereto, and even in the largest possible sense, each of us who exist upon this planet (and even, perhaps, on others) who fosters within their heart – and even those without a sense of compassion and understanding that the authors may assume to be an integral part of the human makeup, but are quite willing to admit that such an assumption is a dangerous but relatively forgivable oversight, and such creatures who are bereft of the benefit of such emotion may arrive at similar conclusions using only pure reason, logic, and process of elimination – the belief that all creatures that exist have intrinsically similar instinctual processes and needs as related to survival, coexistence, and codependence
By which we mean to say believe, have great faith in the humble truth thereof, want to pretend that it somehow makes a difference, or even in our darkest moments clutch fast to a modicum of hope which allows us to assume that by so holding we cannot be severed, swayed (by any means of coercion, be they physical, monetary, emotional, intellectual, or the suggested patterns of acceptability as presented by a so-called, self-righteous and for the most part, logically defunct majority), taken from (as in given in times of convenience and for short-term benefit, and taken away in times of duress and so-called national hardship as perceived by those in whose hands the balance of power may tend to lose its calibration to the detriment of any who have not immediate and useful access to those who have been designated and in fact have no other authority save as agents expressing the direct will and opinion of their constituents
Meaning, rather, ideas and fixations which we hold in such high regard that they are assumed, wished, or hoped to be true and binding over all creatures great and small, rich and poor, able-bodied and minded or otherwise disposed. Truth, which has been variably defined as conformity to fact or actuality, fidelity to an original or standard, reality or actuality itself, a statement proven to be or accepted as true, sincerity and integrity, or even by process of elimination of lesser powers, to actually be the expression of the mind of God, the Creator, the Supreme Being, the Life-Force of the Universe, the Universal Greater Than, and even the expression of that which at this present time (and in fact, throughout the history of Earthlife and existence) is undefinable and may in fact not exist as a greater, all-powerful, all-encompassing, meta-metaphysical, super-physical, psychological, physiological, actuality or understanding
To be, meaning, not created, resurrected, or at any time forced upon the world by beings mortal or divine, not intended to be created at such time in the future when convenience and the differing opinions of creatures vegetable, animal or mineral may see fit to put into being, but here and now existing without question or pause
Meaning obvious, without exception; once again, an assumption on the part of the authors that any creature giving thought to such a proposition will logically, emotionally, and basically without hesitation accept these precepts as a given.
All, not part or sum, but the entirety, not to be segregated or considered different, lesser or greater based on any criterion, be it color, creed, race, educational background, income, neighborhood, sex, character, beliefs, etc. In other words, there are no exceptions. Any infringement of this basic concept of all-inclusiveness should be considered treasonous as applied to the truths presented within.
Well, all men, women, children, ambisexuals, seniors, middle-aged and adolescent, able-bodied or not, dogs, cattle, sheep and chickens, tree and bush and flowering plant and mossy tendril, cat and mouse and rat and peacock, including but not limited to all things existent on this planet (and others), as well as that which we have never seen and may in fact doubt the existence thereof – a personal opinion of the authors, which is not be misconstrued or otherwise assumed to be a suggestion, recommendation, directive, imperative, etc., that anyone be taken seriously who may or may not hold these truths to be self-evident.
Whether we consider Creation to mean brought and gathered from the dust to resemble our current form, or whether evolved over generations from apes or lung-fish or other such creatures as may be determined to have at a minimum a million to one chance of becoming whatever creatures they currently have become, or spawned from the remnants of outposts of alien invasion, or if we simply mean born into this world due to the interaction of a male and female of their respective species, or by windborne spore pollination, or any other means by which one cares to classify.
Having the same quantity, measure, or value as another; being the same or identical to in value; having the same privileges, status, or rights (equal before the law); being the same for all members of a group (gave every player an equal chance to win); having the qualities, such as strength or ability, necessary for a task or situation; adequate in extent, amount or degree. Old meanings for equal run the gamut from impartial, just, and equitable to flat, level and smooth to tranquil and equable.
That They Are Endowed
Or provided with, property, income, or a source of income, or more appropriately, equipped or supplied with a talent or quality, or even a dowry, as it applies to gifts that are provided free of charge, no interest, no hidden clauses or small print.
By Their Creator
Whether the Father or Mother Creator, the Chaos of the Cosmos, the Father, Son, Holy Ghost, Earth Mother, Great Spirit, Brahma, Vishnu, that which shall remain nameless, the eternal spirit of life, etc., etc., or just simply your own parents,
With Certain Unalienable
Unrevokable, untakable, unswappable, unstealable, unsaleable, unmistakable, unseparable from the creature so endowed; one might go so far as to say that even if a creature were to wish to part with said unalienable properties, that they are such an intrinsic part of the body, soul and very being of every creature that it is not possible to remove them from a creature, even at their own request. This, of course, implies a great deal of responsibility – whether it is known or unknown, wanted or unwanted, exercised or not, these unalienable properties will continue to exist.
Or right, privilege, prerogative, perquisite, franchise, birthright, title, etc., meaning a just claim, legally, morally, and traditionally.
That Among These
But not only these, not limited to, or to be assumed to include any less than these
The property or quality that distinguishes living organisms from dead organisms and inanimate matter, manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, response to stimuli, and reproduction; also, the physical, mental, and spiritual experiences that constitute a creature’s existence; and further, actual environment or reality, as in nature.
The condition of being free from restriction or control; the right to act, believe, or express oneself in a manner of one’s own choosing; the condition of being free from confinement, servitude, o
r forced labor; freedom from unjust or undue governmental control; a right to engage in certain actions without control or interference; or even if a creature should choose, not in confinement or under constraint, free, not employed, occupied, or in use.
And The Pursuit
Which is the act or an instance of chasing or pursuing; the act of striving toward; or a vocation, hobby, or other activity regularly engaged in. It does not mean that what is being pursued is ever actually achieved, caught, or realized, nor does it imply that it is possible to achieve, catch, or realize such a goal, target, or objective.
Or good luck or fortune, which leads to enjoying, showing, or being in a state of pleasure or joy. It can also mean a well-adapted, appropriate attitude, or a state of cheerfulness and willingness. The dark side of happiness, however, includes a spontaneous or obsessive inclination to use something, or enthusiasm about or involved with to a misappropriate degree, as in money-happy.