Saturday, July 4, 2009


Man is born free, and everywhere is in chain.

Rousseau, certainly a man of some well-known weaknesses, was brilliant to say this, just a few years ago now.

Of course it was then far from literally correct. And he said this as a citizen of Geneva, arguably one of the places on this planet with the most freedom in that day (~1762). Still, it was more true than literal physicality, both then and to this day.

Today, July 4th, it is most appropriate for any Virginian, and indeed any citizen of the world, to honor the Declaration of Independence and a certain birth of freedom in this nation. This is arguably the one document that has given people more freedom than any other single act of mankind. And, of course, not just people in the USA.

We know several phrases well.

When in the course of human events...
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
...appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions,
with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

We too must continue to fight for freedom. We may fight for it using Scrum or Agile or Lean, and certainly this is an important fight. But we cannot say that the courage these daily fights require of us can measure against the courage of a red-haired man in Philadephia in 1776. He and John Hancock and their fellows knew, for a certainty, that if they did not win the war, they would be killed, probably hung in public.

Let us learn again from this. Let us rededicate ourselves to the fight, that freedom, which can so easily in the search for security in a difficult world roll backward, will with our arms, and backs, and voices, continue to roll forward.

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