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What do you give a 241-year-old lady for her birthday? Might I suggest a grateful nation who shows her the love and respect she deserves by acting like grown-ups? We gladly celebrate with cookouts and fireworks, but I wonder how many of us pause to remember the true meaning of America’s birthday on the 4th of July. Birthing her was not mere child’s play—it was a deadly proposition.
Our Birthday Girl, America, must surely wonder if there are any grown-ups left across her fruited plains. What must she think as she watches us take our disagreements to such a disgraceful level: raging hatred, violence in the streets and even death threats to our leaders? We no longer engage in civil discourse, respectfully disagree and honorably handle our disputes like adults. We’ve become a bunch of spoiled brats who selfishly pursue our own agendas at the expense of the highest good for our nation—and that goes for the reds, the blues and everything in between. It’s even been suggested that we’re on the verge of another Revolution. But I submit that what’s happening today looks more like the tumultuous period of The Terror in the French Revolution, not the noble and honorable quest of the American Revolution.
“You have forgotten your first love,” John scolded the Ephesus church with his apocalyptic pen. Allow me to borrow that phrase to scold all of us on behalf of America: We have forgotten our first love. We have forgotten who we are and who we were meant to grow up to be as Americans. But there’s hope for us, if we will pause to remember. There’s a group of children we can look to for how to grow up and handle a Revolution. Before they were Founding Fathers, they were Founding Children. So how were the seeds of the American Revolution planted in the hearts and minds of mere children, and how might the answer help us today?
Children like young Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and the Marquis de Lafayette did something our children don’t do today. They studied the past. I don’t mean take AP History and study a barrage of dates and facts. These children studied how ancient civilizations governed, what the world’s most brilliant philosophers thought and why man acts as he does across time. Sitting on the desks of these mere children you would find the works of Plutarch (to learn the positive and negative influences made by the great ancient Greek and Roman leaders),…