On October 19, 1781 at Yorktown, Virginia, George Washington secured the surrender of General Cornwallis and the British Army. With that momentous event, America won its independence, and a nation was born just over 232 years ago.
The successful outcome of the American Revolutionary War was by no means ever guaranteed. Surely all the signers of the Declaration of Independence would have been tracked down and hanged for treason had America lost the war. However, through poise, presence, performance, and persistence, what I call 4 Power Leadership, the Founding Fathers succeeded. Today all Americans are the beneficiaries of their courageous actions.
Having secured control of their own destinies, the Founding Fathers could easily have rewarded themselves and retained power. They could have simply substituted one form of oppressive government with another. Based on a risk/reward argument, the leaders of the time could have justified seizing total power for themselves. After all, they were literally the ones with their necks on the line. Instead, they did something remarkable and selfless – they gave their power away. We the people received this gift. Through our representative government as imperfect as it may seem at times, we enjoy the freedom to prosper.
So this Thanksgiving, many of us will search for the things we’re thankful for. Certainly our health, family, and friends should top the list. Just don’t forget to be thankful for the selfless leadership of our Founding Fathers as well. Their actions are the foundation of our happiness today.
In closing, as you share your Thanksgiving prayers, pray that the selfless leadership of our Founding Fathers can somehow be revived in the hearts of our present day leaders, so America can prosper in happiness for another 232 years and beyond.