American Independence- and what it has taught me about my own independence


The 4th of July is undoubtedly one of the biggest holidays in the US. Decorated with flags, parades and fireworks, the day commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It is on July 4th in Philadelphia, a place that remains on my US bucket list, that 13 colonies at war with  Britain regarded themselves as independent from British rule and formed a new nation: 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
— Declaration of Independence by Thomas Jefferson

Throughout the years America has gone through its own challenges of self identity and as many of us can attest to, adulting is no easy task. Even though some of these challenges are still quite evident and many could say that the country has a long way to go in ensuring that all men are indeed treated equally, there is no doubt in my mind that there are many in its society that strive for that truth everyday.

Oddly I am also gaining my own independence in America, and it has been a trying time in my life. Just when you think you have everything under control, life reminds you that you have much to learn. This place has had me under intense breaking points, some of which I'm still trying to grapple with, but it has also given me the greatest pleasures of life: freedom. A freedom to be whatever I want to be. There's great privilege in that and I recognize that no matter how high the mountain and deep the valley, these are challenges that I, Khanya Modipa, have chosen as I gain my own independence.

I hope that as you read this, that you think about what independence looks like to you. Whatever it may be, I hope it drives to you the edges of your world and ignites a great desire to find your own identity. We have many people who don't know who they really are, who spend a lifetime avoiding themselves and what a great tragedy that must be. I am learning that it is only after knowing who you really are that you can begin to live a life of authenticity, independent of what others may think of you. There is freedom in that. So Happy Independence Day to you, may you find your truth and may you live it with passion, no matter where you are in the world. 

Khanya ModipaComment