Independence Day Reminds Us That We Are Better Together 

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Welcome back to The Sunstone Way. 

I think you might recognize this. 

“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.” 

One of the most familiar phrases in American history—regardless of political party affiliation—this is the first sentence of the second paragraph of our Declaration of Independence, and a seemingly self-evident concept that has reshaped the history of the world ever since. Our Declaration of Independence was adopted unanimously by a group of American visionaries on July 4, 1776 – almost 250 years ago come next Thursday.  And if you live in the Plaza Neighborhood of Long Beach, you will probably join us for a giant bike parade to celebrate with your neighbors. 

Taking Responsibility 

Our Declaration of Independence came about during the Second Continental Congress – 56 representatives from the 13 states who came together because they were sick and tired of the despotic rule of England and King George III.  The Revolutionary War had started the year before. 

Every representative in the Continental Congress knew that by signing the Declaration of Independence they could be charged with treason by the British government. They knew that they were committing the people who had sent them to act on their behalf to the same danger. 

It took tremendous courage to stand up to the world superpower and its military that was well-versed in quashing rebellions in colonies throughout the world.  It was like Long Beach Little League challenging the New York Yankees to a 7-game playoff.  They faced that danger willingly to pursue the earliest version of the American Dream – the ability for the individual to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.  But there is more to the story. 

Unity & Community Comes First 

Although a lot of Americans (and some misinformed politicians) will have you think that America was founded on the basis of individual freedom, the Declaration of Independence actually begins with a statement of unity and interdependence: “The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America…” That lack of capitalization of the word united is important – this wasn’t the name of a country, it was a declaration of unity among 13 separate and independent states.  Independence is actually achieved through unity and community. 

Our young country’s leaders knew they had little chance of prevailing over King George and his troops independently. They had already joined forces to create the Continental Army, often mixing militias from different states, and the king issued a Proclamation of Rebellion against all the states collectively. 

It was first things first – get out from under England’s rule, then decide what to do next as a unified body. Freedom and independence never meant going it alone.  In fact, through service and self-sacrifice for the community, the United States of America was born.   

Working Together 

While the “We hold these truths” sentence is the most well-known in the Declaration, the sentence that follows is just as important in terms of making the concept of independence work. It gave, and gives, the representatives power to act. 

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” 

So all those men and women living in the various states were willing to sacrifice a little self-interest for the benefit of the community to get something bigger.  Today, we all give a little to get a lot.  And, on election day, we give some of our individual power over to representatives to act on our behalf – to represent our best interests.  

This interdependent model is actually a hallmark of the American Dream. We call it Independence Day—which represents an important break from the King of England almost 250 years ago—but perhaps, it is better to celebrate “interdependence” as the core value which makes our system of government the envy of the world.  Yes, we believe in the independence of the individual to pursue life, liberty and happiness. But we know, and knew then, that it takes working together to accomplish the big things like protecting that independence. 

The Concept Endures 

Nearly 250 years later, this idea of representative government continues to work, even with its bumps and blemishes. It works at all levels of government, from city hall to state capital to – most of the time – Washington, D.C.  

Realizing that our government doesn’t work without at least the majority of Americans still committed to the founding principles of service and self-sacrifice for the good of the community, let’s all celebrate “interdependence” day this year on July 4th!  It’s the American way and it is also The Sunstone Way! 

Happy 4th of July.  As always, be a Sunstone! 

John Keisler 

CEO & Managing Partner 

Sunstone Management, Inc. 

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©Sunstone Management, Inc. 2024 

More About Sunstone Management 
Sunstone Management is a diversified private capital sponsor firm headquartered in Southern California. Identified by Financial Times as one of America’s Fastest Growing Companies three years in a row. In the latest Pitchbook rankings, Sunstone Management was #15 in the third quarter of 2023 nationally, and #18 in the fourth quarter.1 

  1. Rankings from Pitchbook Venture Monitor, Q3 and Q4. 

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