Independence is Outlaw

245 years ago tomorrow, The Declaration of Independence was signed by John Hancock*, and thus was founded the United States of America.

"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."

I take it for granted that people are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But, at that time, the government of England wasn't apparently too concerned with these three concepts. In 1776 (and before), English soldiers could break into your house and set up shop in your kitchen if they wanted to. They could kill your family, imprison you, and otherwise restrict you from pursuing happiness.

And such was life for early colonists.

The Declaration of Independence wasn't a statement of freedom, it was a stand against oppressive rule by a band of people who knew they would be hung if their attempt at declaring independence wasn't successful. And maybe even if it was.

It was a statement about the foundation of a house that would ultimately become the most powerful house on the block. Perhaps not the biggest house, but definitely a house that saw things a little differently... a house for the people who believed in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (which was as popular then as it is today).

It was a statement for outlaws, by outlaws.

It talks about the right of the people to turn against its government, but is also careful to say that this should not be undertaken frivolously. They wanted to clearly state that this document wasn't the tantrum of a petulant child, but a well-reasoned and calmly-delivered set of observations.

It was a document of outstanding restraint, considering the situation.

Yes, there was ultimately a bloody revolution, but if England had said, "Very well, chaps. You have your government and we'll carry on across the pond," the United States would have continued to build the nation on this charter (unfortunately, not permitting the life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness of the existing residents of the land, or the people who were brought to this land from Africa).

Outlaws take many forms, and over the years of knowing the ever-growing group of OUR Outlaws (including you), I've learned that we're an outstandingly diverse collection of individuals.

Overwhelmingly, a defining and unifying characteristic of Outlaws is our unwavering commitment to these core values, both for ourselves and for others.

I appreciate all that we are, and all that we can become, as long as we remain committed to the vision of our founding fathers, not only for ourselves, but for all people, everywhere.

In independence,
Danielle Vincent
Co-founder & CEO, Outlaw

* I didn't realize that only John Hancock signed on July 4. The other 55 signers added their John Hancocks after July 4.

P.S. I strongly recommend giving the original Declaration of Independence another read:

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Andy Wolf

As always, good read