Sunday, July 24, 2011

Independence Day

(This was supposed to be published yesterday, but I got lazy).

Today is July 23rd, and it is my personal independence day. There is no country in the world that declared their independence on this day, and I guess since there are only 190 odd countries in the world, and 365 days in the year there are some days that will be like that. However, even though I don't share my independence day with anyone one country, I still like to pretend that I have my own independence day like one. I don't set off large amounts of fireworks,no one has written a song for the occasion, nor is any one particular food called for, and I try to celebrate it cautiously.

Because to be independent is to be cautious, you never really know if your self-declared view of your independence is going to be embraced by the rest of the world, or if some bully is going to 'send in the tanks' to get you back in line.  Hopefully, and more likely, the 'world' as it is, isn't really going to be too bothered by your actions, and will just let you be. At least until you start making a nuisance of yourself. And that is the tricky part, how to not become a nuisance. Sitting at home, and minding your own business is one, very dull, way, but even the most curmudgeonly of us are social animals.

And you are going to have to, eventually, go out into the society of nations, and mingle. After all your independent now, and that is cause for a new found confidence, and a new found desire to be 'out there'. One of those first steps in any good independence movement is to get organized. After all, before you weren't strictly in charge of much, and now suddenly you are in charge of everything! That could be a bit 'more than one can bear' if you aren't careful. And you will need to be careful, because now that you are independent, your safety net that you used to rely upon, is gone.  You are your own Prime Minister, Minister of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Defense, etc. etc. all rolled into one.

Hopefully, you will be up to the task, for it is quite a task, and it might be one which you are clearly unready, or unsuited for, but you took the leap of independence, and if you fall flat on your face, you have no one but yourself to blame.  That is one of the hidden little things about being independent, all blame is now directly, solely attributed to one person, you.  Of course, things might not have been too much different before independence, which could have been one of the reason for declaring it in the first place. Either way, here you are newly independent, and wondering 'now what?' 

The answer to that puzzler is not going to make itself readily apparent, nor will the United Nations be of much help. They can offer advice, but you always have to ask for a translation, and you have to look at the state of the country offering advice. Are they telling you to do things that they are obviously unwilling or unable to do themselves? If so, then perhaps their advice, freely given, and well intended as it might be, might be something you have to take with a whole bucket of salt.  Finally, you have to try to remember the mistakes that made you dependent in the first place, and to try to avoid repeating them. After all, losing what was so hard to obtain would just be awful, and you don't want to subjugate yourself to that type of pasting again. As the wise man said, those who fail to learn from their mistakes, are doomed to repeat them, and you don't want to count yourself amongst the doomed, do you?

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