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Posts Tagged ‘Education’

floridatrees14It is hard when our children learn to deal with the diverse responses of relationships in the classroom. They have their close friends who have their back, then more peripheral friends, and, lastly, conflict peers.

Some of my sons are water-off-a-duck’s back with social conflict. No ruffly feathers here. Some take it to heart and have trouble shaking the continual attempt to establish a pecking-order by conflict peers.

“They don’t like me mom,” one son said of a particular group of boys. Let me qualify that he has awesome friends. When the bully in the bathroom threatened peers in the bathroom, regardless of whether they were his close friends or peers, he had no problem telling the bully to move on.

“Dude, you’re too small to beat him up,”  he told the bully in the bathroom. Instead of a fight ensuing, people laughed and everybody left. The bully in the bathroom was momentarily deflated.

Another time, my son was explaining classroom dynamics with a group of trouble-makers. My son explained, “When they ask me to help with their homework, they’re nice. But then they turn mean again.”

How do you explain to a boy growing into a man that with confidence comes responsibility. Confidence shouldn’t be used for beating down, but for leading into faith. Confidence doesn’t just happen: God put it there for a reason.

“Every time you help, you plant a Jesus seed,” I responded.

He looked at me.

dogwoodlimbs“We all have different bloom times. To a lot of these kids, you have it all. You do great in school, on the soccer field. You have good friends. They don’t see how hard you work at home to do well in school. They just see a confident, well-liked kid. Apparently they respect and trust you to help them.”

He was still paying attention, so I continued, “Maybe right now they don’t feel as great about themselves. Maybe they don’t see the gifts inside them that they see in you – and they feel inadequate.”

“What’s inadequate?” he asked, trying to grab hold of what I was saying.

“If you go to the store and they ring up 22 dollars but you only have 20 – you have inadequate funding,” I explained. “Everybody’s bloom time is different. Gift recognition and development sometimes takes others pointing out your strengths. Right now – these kids see can’t see their strengths. Sometimes it’s easier to see another’s strengths than your own.”

I could identify with the late bloomers – not the bullying part, but not being able to see the good things within. I’d been a late bloomer in school.

This conversation occurred in one of the last bed-time chronicles before my boy outgrew them. I tried to encourage that with great gifts comes great responsibility- and that means your response to these challenges needs to be more intentional and responsible.

IMG_5763_edited-4Last year, I encouraged the boys to find 3 people to pray for every day – not just the easy people, but the bully, the kid who gets on your nerves, the student who tries their best to be unnoticed.  They didn’t do it everyday, but a seed was planted.

We’re starting this year with the same message – but being more intentional, recognizing the mission field they walk through every day, understanding how God doesn’t want a one lost.

God calls us to take risks with the talents He gives us. In the story of the man with the talents, he gave one $5,000, $2,000 and $1,000. Two men took risks of their talents and doubled their investment. One just hid his, fearing failure.

Christ commissioned us to go out into the nations and save souls for Him (Matthew 28: 19-20), to tell others about His father. God has equipped each of us for this task, equipped us like the man equipped his servants with the talents. Early bloomers, late bloomers – each is called to enter the mission field. Our first mission field is our family, the second our schools, then our community – and then the world.

“‘Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this “play-it-safe” who won’t go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness.’”Matthew 25: 28-30).

God calls us to be risk-takers. Yes, go out on a limb – take God-risks.   I don’t know if there’s a right age to reach others for Christ; however, our children need to be encouraged to not judge and condemn those who struggle with good choices – but to go out on a limb, be kind, plant a seed: be willing to sit down, really talk, really share, really listen. Don’t use the limb to beat others down. Use it as a leverage to lift them up.

nesttree1

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When “the same things” don’t work, a vigilant parent creates alternative strategies. Yet, what do you do when none of the alternative strategies don’t work.

The professionals might even say words like, “Lazy, Not Paying Attention,” “Stomach pain? It’s in their head.” “Rebellious.”

When lazy doesn’t match up. When the haunted look of pain in their eyes doesn’t match up. When doing the opposite of what you’re asked doesn’t match up? To the child’s heart. . . .

When nothing works. . . nothing . . . when the incentives don’t entice, the discipline – all those squats – don’t move behavior, when in-the-head pain is so bad it limits their abilities – to the point of risking social diminishment . . .

No child wants to be in pain. No child wants to be unsuccessful in school. Every teen wants to drive. To read more, follow me over to The Mom Initiative.

I’m over at The Mom Initiative,  a group of moms and a package of resources to equip, enable and support women as they experience Titus 2 in real life. – won’t you stop by to read further? Not only will you find my post, but you’ll find a group of  women who will encourage and pray for you. Click here or read below:

“You’re not doing the same things,” my husband said when I was working with my second son when he was 2, 3 and 4.

“Yes, I am,” I remember answering, somewhat frustrated. “The same things aren’t working.”

Regardless of the age, sometimes “the same things” don’t work. Developing children requires a diverse strategy arsenal.

For academic development, we used alphabet puzzles, flash cards, animal alphabet cards, Bob Books, Now I’m Reading Books. One learned to spell his name first in sign language. Another chose Garfield over classics – our home library is stuffed with Garfield, Snoopy, the classics, World War II literature, American history books. When two sons had trouble turning in assignments at school, I bought calendars, schedule books – and came up with the Trinity of Success.

For behavioral development, we dug into our arsenal of choices:“No,” corporal punishment, picking up rocks, squats. We even enacted take-aways: social events, media, games, phones, cars and other privileges.

For health and fitness, we’ve provided the right nutrition, the right amount of exercise, followed up with doctor’s visits for complaints that just won’t go away.

When “the same things” don’t work, a vigilant parent creates alternative strategies. Yet, what do you do when none of the alternative strategies don’t work.

The professionals might even say words like, “Lazy, Not Paying Attention,” “Stomach pain? It’s in their head.” “Rebellious.”

When lazy doesn’t match up. When the haunted look of pain in their eyes doesn’t match up. When doing the opposite of what you’re asked doesn’t match up? To the child’s heart. . . .

When nothing works. . . nothing . . . when the incentives don’t entice, the discipline – all those squats – don’t move behavior, when in-the-head pain is so bad it limits their abilities – to the point of risking social diminishment . . .

No child wants to be in pain. No child wants to be unsuccessful in school. Every teen wants to drive.

Behavior must match the child’s heart. The pieces to the puzzle must fit in cause/effect ways.

That’s a sign for out-of-the-box response – a solution revolution.

The solution revolution starts with prayer – hit-the-floor prayer.

Each time, within three days people crossed my path, providing pieces to these puzzles destroying my sons’ lives.

The solution revolution, once prayer is released will take you to the solution – to specialized responses beyond your knowledge and experience.

One son had Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Another son had severe esophagitus. Another son had ADD, not a behavior issue but a focus issue.

CAPD is like dyslexia of the ears. It has the ability to not only affect what you hear (background noise reduced this son’s hearing ability to 24%). He was hearing 2 out of 3 words correctly. It not only affected how he heard but how he learned math and language arts. He had to be taught to recognize the patterns. He also didn’t hear tone.  I don’t like to call it a disorder, though. Different shouldn’t equal disorder.

Another son suffered severe esophagitus from 1st to 6th grade. By 6th grade, he was running like someone’s grandma, unable to focus and concentrate due to the constant pain. The pediatrician said it was in his head. One specialist said it was a fiber issue. The aggressive specialist we eventually found said the pain was not located in an “in-your-head” place and scoped him. We had to totally change his diet. He had to re-develop his foundational muscles, rebuild his 6-pack. It’s hard sitting through a school day with intense stomach pain. He had to re-learn learning.

TrinityWhen turning homework in on time and organizational management – even with sports because long-term challenges. We thought it was rebellion and laziness – so did the teachers. Until an ADD adult described “living and working in a fog,” creating an inability to complete projects – we had no clue. Discipline and incentive couldn’t lead the way out of that fog.

When you’ve tried everything you know. When you’ve tried main-stream solutions.  When you’ve taken everything away or even promised much as incentive. When you’ve implemented punishment – and nothing works.

It’s time to think out of the box. It’s time for a solution revolution.

What has your family experienced that has made you look for a solution revolution?

 

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The morning starts off with prayer and hope – one leading us in the 23rd psalm, another leading the Lord’s Prayer, and the teen choosing a proverb. I finish off with prayer:

Praising God for either the rain that prepares the crops, or the sun that helps the crops grow, for our home, for our provision – for warm blankets and comfortable beds.

 I ask that our angels encamp about us, protecting us, keeping us from harm.

 I pray that as we come and go between classes, tasks, jobs and activities that we reach for relationship with the Father beyond this moment

 That we let others know about the love of Jesus either through our words or actions. That we find 3 people to pray for either outwardly or inwardly – maybe a bully, maybe the bullied – but someone who needs a bit of the Father in their lives.

 And. . . .I pray that their school work will be their best, a praise offering to God.

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col. 3:23)

 Our morning prayer sounds like utopian parenting, doesn’t it. For the duration of that prayer – all is right and hopeful in the world – a perfect moment.

If only the prayer were walked out as easily as spoken.

My teen and I, after the little guys were dropped off, talked about work as praise – because school work just is not always a priority. Right now, he really doesn’t see how reading The Secret Life of Bees, writing an essay or learning the rudiments of statistics will help him in real life (do not get me going about the feminization of education). From my college teaching experience, unless boys see a true need for a skill, they don’t respect it, want it, work for it.

But God wants our work to be as praise for him. . . .

 How do you get a teen to buy into that?

I tried again – I am all for repetitious seed planting into these boys of mine.

“Grow where you are planted. God didn’t drop you in  Uganda where a war-torn people live in huts with a trench for a bathroom beside an outside wall, where little boys are given a gun to kill their parents in order to live. Little boys in Uganda would rather have been dropped where you are,” I urge.

Sleepy blinking is my response. I push on, though, not deterred.

“God dropped you here .  Not somewhere else you’d rather be, doing something else you’d rather be doing. You need to make the best of where you are, the situation you are in – which means going to school, graduating and fitting yourself for useful employment. Not just going to school – but doing your best,” awesome point I’ m thinking that should propel my son into school ready to be the student he is capable of being.

Sleepy blinking. A sigh that really says, “Here we go again” – that’s all the response from my one-on-one, early morning cheerleading.

Instead of backing off, I dig in deeper – I can’t really figure out if that’s counter-productive. Maybe it is. All I know is that I don’t want to give up on someone I love so much.

“Are you a Christian?” I ask. That gets a response.

“Of course ,” he answers, his eyes too tired to roll backwards in his head, so he just shuts them.

“Are you a picking and choosing Christian – meaning you are going to pick and choose what the bible says about being a Christian? Because He wants us to do our best where we are – and for you, that means school.”

He climbs out of the van not so much excited about going to school as to getting away from his mother.

“Cain brought an offering to God from the produce of his farm. Abel also brought an offering, but from the firstborn animals of his herd, choice cuts of meat. God liked Abel and his offering, but Cain and his offering didn’t get his approval” (Genesis 4: 3-4)

It is so difficult to use a Cain and Able quote because, well, my boys automatically jump to the fratricide part. Yet, there is so much beyond that to be learned.

Offerings were a new thing, a second-generation thing – each brother brought one, completed the assignment, so to speak. One earned a gleaming report. The other needed work. God, ever the teacher, talked to Cain, encouraged him to do better next time:

“So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, ‘Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen?If you do well, will you not be accepted?And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it'”(Genesis 4: 5-7)

You must rule over it – meaning take responsibility of your abilities, gifts and responsibilities – do your best! Do your best, God seems to be telling Cain – and I will bless you, praise you, like I praised Able. “Next time, do better,” God coaches to Cain. Even Cain had to practice, to learn – to turn in Praise Work to God.

Do your best, whether it is making hats, doing school work, folding laundry, working in a job that isn’t your dream job

Ever since my first historic trip to Pleasant Hill as a teen with my family, the idea of work a praise gift to God has been a seed growing.

 Shakers … go about their duties in cheerful, happy helpful temper, feeling that “Labor is worship and prayer.” (Leonard, Shaker Manifesto 1871, for quote source, click here)

The results of each Shaker task was a praise offering to the Father:  spinning, weaving, sewing, making baskets, brushes, bonnets, brooms, furniture, growing and harvesting for sale medicinal herbs, garden seeds, apple-sauce, and knitted garments, using the latest scientific methods for farming  and living. In 1835, they had cold showers in bathhouses with water pumped from the Kentucky River.

“Hands to work, hearts to God,”  (Mother Ann Lee).
The work of the hands reflecting the heart to God.

Farm Deacon’s Shop, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill

A few weeks ago, my husband and I celebrate our 29th anniversary at The Shaker Village in Pleasant Hill, Kentucky. Thirty hours of together time – celebrating 29 years of marriage – a little bit of history, a lot of good food, quietness in a beautiful place, staying in a historic building all to ourselves – holistically delightful!

To make a chair, with such perfection, such skill, the best you had within you – a worthy chair on which an Angel of God could sit – that was the goal of each Shaker chair maker (Tour Guide, Pleasant Hill, August 2012)

I bet even the Chair Master, when he was an apprentice, had homework. If he had never tried, never improved, never turned in his homework or day work, he would never have become the Chair Master – creating a chair so perfect it was fit for angels.

“God, the master workman, who has made the smallest insect with as much care as the mammoth elephant, sets us the example of good work.  Imitation is the sincerest praise.”  (Shaker Manifesto).

I’ve been re-seeding, watering, trying to grow that idea and instill it in my boys.  Simple Gifts has a bed-time lullaby in our house for over 27 years:

‘Tis the gift to be simple, ’tis the gift to be free,
Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
‘Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain’d,
To bow and to bend we shan’t be asham’d,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.
(Simple Gifts, Shaker Song)

Doing my best as a parent, is that not praise to God also? Not giving up on encouraging these boys “to come down where [they] ought to be.” Sometimes, praise is not easy – especially when you are praising for something you do not see the evidence of.

Shaping, crafting for the company of angels and God – that kind of skill starts in the heart, works its way to the hands and the feet – even if the work of the hands and feet are classroom assignments and teaching moments in a car on the way to school at 7:15 a.m.

Maybe the morning and private prayer time ought to include that God give us each the desire to over-rule the power that would have us sullenly turn away from encouragement, that our desire to do our best flame higher and stronger than the desire to not do where we are planted our best.

Sometimes, a math sheet can be so much more than homework – it can be an I-Love-You Praise gift worthy of angels and God – if it is labored over for God.

For more information on Shaker History, click here and here.

For the Trinity of Success, click here

659) Post-it notes for prayer requests stuck on my desk and bathroom mirror that remind me to pray
660) Paine au chocolates for my daughter-in-law – because my son said she’d like them
661) baklava for my son – because he likes it – and he asked for it.
662) leaves swirling like confetti in dappled sunlight on a quiet street on my way home from work
663) A quiet weekend morning, on the porch with a cup of coffee, listening to a blue jay
664) zinnias that rebloom sherbet colors all summer long
665) a bushel of tomatoes from my garden
666) time to knit 4 rows of a project
667) boys reading in the weekend morning – no t.v., no music, just a silent kind of industriousness that sighs contentment
668) the courage to buy a pink and purple booster seat for baby girl to sit at the table – on the clearance rack – with a mini-booster-seat for a tiny baby doll. My littlest, almost 12, assembled it, secured it – and grandbaby girl and her stuffed animal enjoyed dinner
669) Hearing the following words: “In college I went to the used book store to get some classics to read, like Shakespeare, ‘Much Ado about Nothing. I used to buy books there all the time until the owner offered me a massage.” – Not the massage part, though that definitely adds a little something to the story – but that I instilled a love for reading things like Shakespeare.
670) Previous discussion morphing into a discussion of Chaucer (thank you, “A Knight’s Tale” – and the devolving and evolving of words).
671) Saturday Morning date at the Farmer’s Market
672) Chard, honey, parsley, cucumbers, eggplant and dill at the Farmer’s Market
673) Watch grandbaby girl have one-on-one time with her 14-year-old uncle
674) Sons meeting rising to meet life challenges
675) Sons who still hug
676) Living a hectic schedule one hour at a time – thank you God for helping me through this week – with a schedule that challenged my peace
677) meeting with friends over dinner – friends who laugh with you and don’t mind you being yourself
678) a friend from church, seeing my husband in the grocery store, battling a cold – and she prayed for him
679) Phone calls my mom and aunt every morning  – when I married, long-distance calling was too expensive – now, I can call every day. What an awesome blessing! I love that.
680) weekday morning prayer, no matter how put out any one person is – the littlest leading the Lord’s Prayer, the next leading the 23 Psalm – and seeing my senior’s hands automatically reaching for the bible I leave in the car to find a Proverb – without me reminding.
681) watching green things and blooming things outside my window
682) rain, in sheets, in mists, rumbling and rolling thunder across the sky, lights out as the rain from the hurricane blows its way to Tennessee.
683) sitting with the lights off in the house, on our porch, listening to the boys and husband talk of big and little things, little and big – in the way that boys do – so endearing, so serious, sometimes so silly – all more beautiful in the quiet
684) sitting around the big table, dinner finished, a coffee cup in my hand, listening to the talking, trying to get a word in somewhere – wondering how does a mom’s voice stay relevant when men talk about their world, grateful for Shakespeare and Chaucer moments – yes, it was a double blessing, worthy of a gazillion times ( which reminds me of a 5 minute discussion of dictionaries and the word ginormous).
685) Comfort that during tomorrow and Wednesday and through all the rest of the week, He has blessings along my path to remind me that He is with me, that He never abandons nor forsakes me.

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Homeland Security tried to put a damper on my 4th of July, listing the following behavior as a means to put an American citizen on the No-Fly list as a terrorist threat: cherishing personal liberty, opposing abortion, buying supplies in bulk (Hello, Sam’s Club), belief in gun rights, protesting taxes – oh, and paying cash for a cup of coffee (click for article: here).

Today, friends are bringing dishes to celebrate America’s Freedom. Some of you have sons and daughters serving our country today.  As we gather to break bread, pass the chicken, drink sweet southern tea, watch the children with sparklers and later the fireworks – let’s remind ourselves of what freedom and liberty are.

After reading through the news today, I thought maybe we needed to read something to remind us of those, letting you know that you are not alone – there are a bunch of us in our nation who still get it and instill those principles in our children. Homeland Security might night understand it, but bread-and-butter Americans understand it – and need to hear it. I kind of need it, too – so I am reposting this from the last 4th of July.

“Ten Cannots”

by Blue Cotton Memory

is a beautiful example of how the quote from one man (Abraham Lincoln) can inspire the reasoning of another man (William J.H. Boetcker) and 60+ years later, be used by another president (Ronald Reagan) to inspire a country to prosperity. Talk about Trickle Down Wisdom!Often attributed to Abraham Lincoln but really written in 1916 by William J.H. Boetcker, a Presbyterian minister and included in a pamphlet titled “Lincoln On Limitations” in 1942. These “10 Cannots” resonate with powerful truth today – praying that our leaders heed these words!

    1. You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    2. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
    3. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    4. You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer
    5. You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
    6. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
    7. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
    8. You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
    9. You cannot build character and courage by taking away man’s initiative and independence.
    10. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

Abraham Lincoln’s quote that inspired the “10 Cannots.”
“Property is the fruit of labor; property is desirable; is a positive good in the world. That some should be rich shows that others may become rich, and hence, is just encouragement to industry and enterprise. Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another; but let him labor diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built” – Abraham Lincoln in a March 21st 1864 address

By Blue Cotton Memory

I found the “10 Cannots” at Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace on a day trip a few years ago in Hodgenville, KY. The boys moaned as I figuratively drug them into the one-room cabin that was authentic to the era but not the authentic cabin of President Lincoln’s childhood. Granted, Mrs. Lincoln did not have 5 children – but I stood in that room without a bathroom and wondered where I would stuff all those boys if that had been my cabin.

Our country’s prosperity is suffering now because people our trying to shackle freedom and liberty. Now through Homeland Security, our government is trying to muffle the language and behavior of freedom.

If you read the article above, does it silently make you think about censoring your content to not use words indelibly linked with the liberty and freedom of our country’s history? The religious context of the founding our country? About how you will pay for your next cup of coffee as you write a pro-life post?

Sadly, it made me think twice.

Thinking twice doubled my resolve to not be intimidated out of my freedom.

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1767 Nine Strips Sons of Liberty Flag

It would seem our nation today resembles more of the colonies of early America, pre-Independence. Those Sons of Liberty – who dumped tea into the Boston Harbor, Sons of Liberty like Paul Revere who road through the night for Freedom, Sons of Liberty who serve in our Armed Forces today to preserve that Freedom –

Do you hear them? Do you hear that Spirit of Freedom admonishes you to not let it go?

You cannot raise Sons and Daughters of Liberty today unless they understand the original Sons and Daughters of Liberty. One way to help raise those Liberty Children is to tell the stories that provoked the American Revolution – and have candid liberty dinner table discussions comparing to our liberties and its assaults today.

Leading up to the 4th of July – the celebration of Freedom, American Revolution-style, I encourage you to read the Declaration of Independence with your children, point by point, one day at a time – word by word, see that America’s founders are fighting the same battle we are today. Discuss each point in the context it was written and how it can be applied today.
If we ourselves do not know the legal documentation of our history and freedom, then how can we expect our children to keep the flame of freedom burning brightly?

The Declaration of Independence needs to be read, not as a communication to the King of England, but today, as a communication to the 3 branches of the government: judicial, legislative and executive.

“IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

  1. He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
  2. He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
  3. He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
  4. He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
  5. He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
  6. He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
  7. He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
  8. He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
  9. He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
  10. He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
  11. He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
  12. He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
  13. He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
  14. For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
  15. For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
  16. For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
  17. For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
  18. For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
  19. For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
  20. For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
  21. For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
  22. For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
  23. He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
  24. He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
  25. He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
  26. He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
  27. He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.”

John Hancock

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