Opinion

Encourage Independent Thinking This Fourth of July!

by Diana Erbio – As our nation celebrates its freedom from tyranny this Independence Day it is vital that we remember Ben Franklin’s warning words when asked at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787 about whether we had a Republic or a Monarchy. “A Republic, if you can keep it,” was his famous response. We must heed that message and act upon it.

How? By recognizing that tyranny if not in full force, has and always will be lurking just around the corner. To guard against this enemy of freedom we must arm the next generation with the knowledge of the founding principles written into our Constitution that have safeguarded our individual freedoms since the birth of our nation. If we fail to do this tyranny will rise again.

During this age of technological wonder we must be wary of distraction. Sure there must be time for frivolous fun and silly entertainment, such as the all too numerous video clips on YouTube of cats and others engaging in nonsense. But as the older, supposedly wiser generation we must direct our children and grandchildren towards ideas of substance too. For instance our Constitution.

Glenn Beck spoke of a game, The Constitution Quest that he had introduced to his kids. He said he learned stuff about the U.S. Constitution playing this game that he was unaware of and he is one who actively studies it. We as Americans are proud to announce that we have protected rights, but how many of us really know what these rights are?

Pocket Constitutions are great to keep close by and refer to on a frequent basis, but this game sounds like an entertaining way to stay connected to our protected rights. Knowing these rights and passing this knowledge on to the next generation is the most effective way to keep the Republic our founding fathers fought for in 1776.

Other important aspects that have helped keep our nation independent has been its people’s ingenuity and imagination. Once again we as the older and (wiser?) generation should take it upon ourselves to help the youngsters get engaged in using their own minds and skill sets to build and invent. A new book, Made by Dad, by Scott Bedford, includes 67 projects designed to be undertaken with kids. (Despite the title, moms, grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles as well as dads can all get involved!)

Another way to stir imagination in young kids is to read them a story and ask them to remember scenes from the story that they can later recreate on paper, using crayons, paints or markers. This will encourage creativity and active engagement through books. My short story for Kindle, Moon Circles, 99-cents at amazon.com teaches a mini science lesson about the relationship of the sun, earth and moon and inspires young children to physically act out the way the earth circles the sun while the moon circles the earth.

Use your own ingenuity and spur some independent thinking this Fourth of July! Happy Independence Day!


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Diana Erbio
7 years ago

Happy 4th of July 2014!

DrJCA1
8 years ago

I read so many absurd comments form the left and the right about how the government is doing this and that. The only reason that the federal government is so large and intrusive is the simple fact that voters go to the polls with their emotions, not their intelligence, nor with any sense of concern for the future. Yak all you want to, but when you vote in, the same old garbage every election, just because they think like you do on a particular subject (abortion for example), the tendency is to become complacent, greedy, and self-serving. Doesn’t matter if you are a liberal or conservative. You’re a human being first, with all of our inherent weaknesses.
In order to save our country we need to throw every incumbent out in every election until they get the message that they work for us and are not there to rob us blind, intrude into our everyday lives (and please, the Republicans are almost as bad a the Democrats – just different intrusions), cater to special interest groups (minorities, businesses, religions, or any others), or to believe that they are above the law in any way.
Sad thing is, we won’t ever do that because us conservatives are just as “holier-than-thou” on the subjects we think are important (abortions, gay rights, immigration, etc) as are the liberals and their convictions on welfare, affirmative action, stealing from the rich, etc.

Andrew Hall Sr
8 years ago

As the government passes more and more laws in favor of the few, we lose our freedom.

Andrew Hall Sr
8 years ago

As groups of people lobby for their beliefs and the Government creates laws reflecting those opinions, the rights of others are being eliminated. What I believe and what I practice is allowed because we are free to do so. I am not in favor or against abortion or Gay marriage or any religion. My wife and I divorced and to her surprise she did not have to pay any income tax beyond what was kept out of her retirement check a drop from $4000.00 the previous year. Do I care if the gays get the rights to marry? No but I am concerned about the woman who are going to abort in a alley or with a non sterile environment I have been a volunteer in the city of Philadelphia and have met woman who were rapped or forced to have sex and the hatred of the father is passed down to the child a criminal is born.

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