The best way to celebrate the 4th of July

My favorite 4th of July was in 1976 when our family (wife Marcia, four small children, and I) lived in Sudbury (zip code 01776), a suburb of Boston. We decided to drive into downtown Boston, camp out with a picnic dinner along the Charles River, and listen to Arthur Fiedler’s last concert as conductor of the Boston Pops. (KERA-TV still schedules that memorable telecast.) One of my ancestors, after whom I was named, was among those who signed the Declaration of Independence so July 4th has special significance for me.

That said, I still think the best way to celebrate the 4th of July each year is to update one’s own “declaration of independence.” It should be a written document. I will not share the details of mine, except to say that I have certain dependencies that are not in my best interests. Presumably you also have a few. They’re cunning devils, difficult to resist and even more difficult to eliminate.

I’m not talking about resolutions such as those many people make on New Year’s Eve and then forget about soon thereafter. Most of mine are patterns of behavior.

I always sign my own document each year to strengthen my sense of commitment but the given issues are obviously insignificant to those addressed in a document signed in Philadelphia 236 years ago. Robert Morris and the others who signed the Declaration of Independence also signed their own death warrant, had the thirteen colonies lost the war.

Think about it. If you have any dependencies, write them down, and then declare, “That’s it! I’m done with you!” Something like that. You get the idea.

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