Wednesday, July 8, 2015

My Declaration of Independence for the World (Written as a Teen)



A couple of months ago I mentioned that I rewrote the Declaration of Independence for a contest when I was in high school. The topic for the essay was “What Freedom Means to Me.” I won first place in my school and third place in the district. I am still super proud of the plaque I got. As a matter of fact, it hangs on my wall near my desk.

Below is the essay. The part of the Declaration I rewrote is indented. Please keep in mind that I was fifteen when I wrote this. I also won't tolerate negative comments about any of the freedoms that I mention in my speech. Thanks!

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“Freedom means many things. You have the right to be who you want to be whether it’s the President of the United States, a lawyer of the best court, or a makeup and red nose wearing clown. You also have the right to do what you want, even if it’s dancing the funky chicken in your apartment or writing a comic and sending it to the newspaper to be published. But mostly importantly, you’re not owned by another like a slave.

“Freedom can be shown millions of ways such as dying your hair red, white and blue; joining the army to fight for your country; or going to school to get an education. I demonstrate my greatly appreciated freedom, given to me by those who gave their lives for mine, by writing my own Declaration of Independence, which I desperately wish applied to this divided world today. Because I am free, I can write my own Declaration as long as I don’t forget the real Declaration. Who could forget about this famous document signed by the most intelligent and wise men that states our freedom? I don’t think anyone can.

“My World Declaration of Independence starts and ends like so:
“We the people of this large and over-populated world are free. We have the rights of speech, marriage, presidency, education, life, happiness, safety, and choice. No president, government, senate, mayor, or any other high powered, crown-wearing, kingdom and throne bearing person can ignore these rights or make laws against them. If they do, we have the choice to overthrow them with the snap of a finger. Once they are robed of their position, we then have the full power in our hands to find and vote for a new eligible person to take their place. 

The certificate I received. The plaque doesn't show up well in pictures.

Freedom of Speech grants us the honor to express our opinions, as long as they are not hurtful, and not get in trouble. 
Freedom of Marriage allows gays to marry with no protest. 
Freedom of Presidency permits men and women of different races, religions, cultures, or any other feature that separates us from one another to be the President of the United States of America. 
Freedom of Education aids children in foreign countries to go to school. Students from all over the world will have the opportunity to learn from books, computers, and teachers. 
Freedom of Life gives us the chance to live as we see fit. 
Freedom of Happiness admits everyone the chance to find satisfaction and bliss in any way they can, within legal limits, and no one can stop them. 
Freedom of Safety authorizes people to fight for themselves and their loved ones when faced with dangerous situations or people. 
And Freedom of Choice grants women full control over their bodies and the power to say “No!” 
Because we are all free, we are all free to do as we want and please, as long as we do not hurt one another. No king, dictator, or legislator can make us do anything against our dreams, morals, or wishes. We can stand up for ourselves and what we believe in because we can! 
No man can be sold to another man. No man is a slave to another man. No man has the right to start war where loves ones are parted countries away, deprived of many things, and sometimes killed while fighting for their country. No there won’t be any more war likes that or any other kind! 
We have all suffered from slavery, war, poverty, murder, and the list goes on and on full of the evil things we have done to each other. But that ends now with this Declaration! There will be no more terrorism, flag burnings, cults, riots, massacres, bombings, looting, or any other hurtful crime that has happened in the past. 
To make this so, all states and countries will have massive prisons for a sentencing of so many years. The world will be a better place for all and all to come. 
So therefore, unto I speak to you, I declare the people of the world FREE!” 
Every year I visit the moving wall that comes down to Florida. I stare in awe at all the little white names blanketing the movable black marble. I wonder what their last thoughts were before they died in those bloody, life-taking, and freedom-giving battles. Maybe one of them thought, as he lay on the bullet covered ground, “I changed the world with my life and one day we’ll be free so one little girl can write her own Declaration of Independence.”


QUESTION: What would you put in your World Declaration of Independence? 


(P.S. hateful comments will be ignored and deleted.)


59 comments:

  1. I am being interviewed on the radio this morning about fireworks and my petition in Michigan to ban them from private use. So, I would add that my Freedom of Safety means to be safe in my home and does not allow you to threaten me with your pyrotechnics landing on my property or coming through my windows.

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    1. Yes, there's a lot of things I could've added to define each freedom, but I left most of it as it was when I was fifteen.

      Good luck with your radio interview!

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  2. Too bad we really couldn't get rid of some at the snap of a finger, might make them wise up. I'd rhyme it and confuse all lol

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    1. Things would be so much easier if we could.

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  3. Agree with Pat! Too bad more don't use their freedom to vote and get some decent people in office.

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    1. That is a shame. We all have the right to vote and yet so many don't.

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  4. This was very well written for a 15 year old Chrys. I can see why you took 1st and 3rd place respectively. Lots of insight and wisdom for "one so young" at the time. Very well done!

    betty

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    1. Thank you, Betty! I appreciate that. :D Looking back, I was a bit more thoughtful than others in my class.

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  5. I agree, this was very well written for a 15-year-old! I loved all of your points :)

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    1. It was hard for me to read through this and type it up and not add more to each freedom. There was so much more I couldn't added, but I didn't want to badly alter the original essay.

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  6. oh love this! ( especially the funky chicken part haha)

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  7. Well done Chrys, I'd vote for you! But only after you do the funky chicken! :)
    Really though, great thoughts for a 15 years old. I won a similar writing contest in school - it still means a lot.

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    1. I'll do the funky chicken if you do, Yolanda. ;)

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  8. That was very impressive, no wonder you got awarded. Congrats on your past achievement, and nice of you to share even now!

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  9. Lots of deep thinking for someone 15 years old. Freedom of speech really gets people in trouble these days with the help of social media. It's so easy to distribute hate and so easy for people to look like idiots.
    Susan Says

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    1. I think a lot of fifteen-year-olds think deep, but don't speak up enough.

      You're right about that. That's why I added the part "as long as they are not hurtful" because I was bullied a lot when I was younger.

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  10. That's really good. I can see why you won an award for that. It's well-deserved!

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  11. I really like your revised Declaration of Independence; I totally agree with it, especially the part about women having the right to say no. I get so angry when I read articles about people blaming rape victims and siding with the rapists, even if the victims are young girls. It also makes me mad when guys insult women (this has happened to me) for rejecting them, as if we should be grateful that they deigned to pay attention to us.

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    1. That makes me mad too. I've always hated how rape victims, and women/girls in general, are treated.

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  12. I think you did an amazing job! I love and agree with each and every one of your points. I wish I had been that eloquent when I was a teen :)

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  13. Very nice (I hope nothing I wrote while 15 still exists). You've got us intrigued with this Funky Chicken dance... Care to satisfy our curiosities and demonstrate? ;)

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    1. I still have stuff I wrote when I was even younger! ;)

      Haha! If I demonstrated the funky chicken dance, I'd look like a robot chicken. :P

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  14. Obviously, you were born a trailblazer. Congratulations for the well-deserved award. I love this post. It is moving and true.

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  15. Wise beyond your years. This is a great rewrite of the Declaration! We didn't have anything like this at our school growing up. Very cool!

    Also, totally agree with all these changes. At least one of them is now intact as of just recently :) Now, we just need to work on freedom of choice!

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    1. Yes, one is intact. :) But there still are protests about it. I wish there wasn't, but what can we do?

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    2. I know, which is a bummer. We can stand by them. A public official has no right to deny marriage license because they're PUBLIC officials. In Houston, some folks threatened to sue and eventually, the official gave up and let them have the licenses. And then for Texas we've got Abbott fighting to overrule it *sigh*

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  16. I love your rewrite. You were very eloquent and intelligent at fifteen. I wish more young people were able to express themselves so well.

    Although I'm very grateful I live in a democracy, I've long felt a nostalgic, romantic pull towards the idea of a constitutional monarchy, probably because my area of expertise is history, and monarchy was the dominant form of government until very recently.

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    1. Thanks, Carrie-Anne! My fifteen year old self would be dancing around the room with the compliment. :)

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  17. Ah, if only the world could learn not to be hateful toward one another, it'd be a much more peaceful place. The freedom of speech so long as it isn't hurtful is something people should strive for, myself included. It seems too often people use freedom as a shield for misbehavior. They phrase it as, "I'm just being honest," when they're expressing their opinion without tact or thought toward who they are addressing. You can be honest, just be kind about it.

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    1. You're right. Just because we have Freedom of Speech people think they can bully, accuse, and say nasty things...as well as criminal things. That shouldn't be the case at all.


      "I'm just being honest" is a phrase for people to use when they know their being an ass and they think that phrase excuses them. It doesn't.

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  18. Wow! Well done! When I was a teen all I could think about was getting out of my parents house, because I knew it all...Looking back, I think I was a little meglomaniac. ;-)

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    1. LOL! Well, I went through a lot of bad times, so I think that made me think about things more. I wrote that after healing from spine surgery. I was still only going to school for a half day at the time.

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  19. A great write for a 15 yr old, good points raised and most enjoyable to read.
    Yvonne.

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  20. Thank you for sharing this with us. You had a way with words, even at 15. Very well thought out, and I love the positivity behind it.

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    1. You're welcome, Shannon! And thank you! :)

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  21. I can't imagine anyone being negative about this - how could they??? It's so well-written and so full of hope and love.

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    1. Thank you, Liz! I imagine one or two people ranting negatively about one or two of the freedoms I mentioned. Especially the Freedom of Marriage one with how people are upset about that since it became law.

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  22. Wow, I can see why you are proud of that from back in the day--well done.

    I think the nation's founders did an excellent job with the DofI--leaving it broad enough for changes in society, yet still emphasizing the freedom that is important. I would not add anything.

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  23. Wow, that's amazing Chrys. That you could write so eloquently at such a young age and with the awareness of social issues. Good for you. To me, freedom of speech is integral to all of our freedoms! Great share :)

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    1. Thank you, Lisa! I was always very aware of social issues and the darkness of our world even as a kid.

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  24. Wow that's an impressive essay. And you've kept it! Nice!

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  25. I really applaud the school for assigning this task. It makes teenagers think. Great job, Chrys. Freedom is a gift that we tend to take for granted at times. What we must remind ourselves of is that with freedom comes responsibility. Thank you for sharing!!

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    1. It was an open contest that anyone could do, but I'm not sure if many other kids other than my best friend at the time who won second place in our school and the kid who won third place. Sad to say.

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  26. You pretty much said it all, which is pretty impressive especially because you were so young.

    :-)

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  27. Very thoughtful and intelligent. At 15, what motivated you, aside from the assignment to write this? You felt deeply and strongly as you and all should. Most don'y though and take freedom for granted. I don't think many realize, that in other parts of the world, people have died trying to vote

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    1. Well, I had gone through and seen a lot of bad things. I had just had spine surgery and was going to school part time. I was doing virtual school for history and I was assigned a task of rewriting the Declaration of Independence. I got a good grade for it. So when the contest came about shortly after, I took my Declaration, rewrote it again and turned it into an essay. I really did feel strongly about everything I mentioned.

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  28. This is wonderful, Chrys. I admire your words, your insight and maturity at the age of fifteen! Kudos!

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  29. Excellent, Chrys! I knew I'd love it and I'm glad you shared. :-) I bet you could have written your declaration without it being an assignment, but I agree that it should be a school requirement to understand the means and meanings of freedom.

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    1. I bet I could have. I was that kind of kid who would've done it for fun.

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