As the Americans are celebrating their Day of Independence. I think it is appropriate to take a moment and realise the ramifications this had on the world.
The ideas of liberty expressed through the Declaration of Independence showcased the desire for improvement through the pursuit of life, liberty, and property.
It is because men and women desire to become better that the Declaration of Independence has made such an impact. Each individuals pursuit improving their lot in life, abilities, community, families, and therefore themselves is manifested through the individuals freedom to choose their unique values.
It turns out the recipe for human flourishing is part pursuit for improvement, part protection of property rights, and part liberty to decide individual values.
Just like Australia Day, there are those who attempt to use the day as a platform to showcase the atrocities of the past. Demanding we see the current country based on its historic flaws and destructive ways. This is the equivalent of judging a university graduate based on their behavior as a 2 year old. Normal people judge the current person, or country based on their continued ability to grow and learn, not damn them for eternity for the problems of the past.
A tremendous amount of knowledge has been acquired over the past 242 years, and thankfully a lot of poor ideas have been abandoned along the way.
242 years is a very short time considering the thousands of years our ancestors toiled on this earth. It took almost 5000 years after the invention of written text for the Declaration of Independence to be written (that's what Google told me).
However, in these few hundred years, billions of individuals around the world have been positively impacted by the ideas expressed in a declaration that a group of colonists set forth that day.
Let us not forget the positive impacts of liberty on our lives, and let us not stop improving ourselves and the lives of those around us.