Business & Finance

Guest Column

Seven Lessons from The Fourth of July

Credits: WFP

Nothing important happened today.” —Diary entry by King George III on July 4, 1776

Ah, George. Little did he know what was brewing across the Atlantic on that fateful day. 
For most of us, the Fourth of July promises the opportunity to relax, a few days on which to do precisely “nothing important.” It’s a time for sizzling burgers on the grill, spiking volleyballs at the beach, and shouting our approval as fireworks blast colorful patterns in the night sky. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of a well-earned day off and relaxing with family and friends. But there are lessons to be learned from 
Independence Day, great lessons that underscore the courage and commitment upon which this country was founded—lessons about success. 
When it comes to motivation and training, you’ll often hear advice thrown about, such as “Be a leader,” “Act decisively,” and “Never give up.” We’ve heard these ideas so often, they’ve become clichés that have lost some of their meaning. So let’s use this July 4 as the perfect time to look at such advice operating in a revolutionary context.
Here are just seven of the lessons the founding citizens of this country can still teach us today:

1. A lesson in boldness
Gentlemen, I make the motion that these United Colonies are, and of right ought to be, free and independent States, that they be 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."   The delegates of the Second Continental 
Congress in Philadelphia were stunned by these words from Richard Henry Lee. The war had commenced with the battles of Lexington and Concord the previous year, but since then events had progressed far beyond addressing colonial grievances. The delegates were now considering the mind-boggling audacity of pursuing complete 
independence from King George III. In the 18th century, that was the type of talk that led right up the creaky steps to the gallows. But nevertheless, in full consciousness of the 
risk they were taking, in the summer of 1776, 56 prominent men from throughout the 13 colonies affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted by the Congress on July 4. “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately,” Ben Franklin famously said. The actions of these men—all of whom had 
much to lose—is the very definition of boldness. We might ask of ourselves, “Where is our resolve, our boldness to dream and demand change? What do we believe in?”

Sign Up for E-News

2. A lesson in honor
Long before the image of Samuel Adams was pasted onto a bottle of beer, the man himself had failed as a brewer and dedicated himself instead to politics. A skilled writer and pamphleteer, he was responsible for stoking the fires of rebellion among the colonists. The crown was well aware of Adams’s growing influence and attempted to neutralize the outspoken patriot with the methods that tend to break most 
men: intimidation and bribery. Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage dispatched 
Colonel Fenton to personally “persuade” Adams to cease his revolutionary activities. As you’re sipping a Sam Adams Summer Ale over the holiday, consider this remarkable exchange, as set forth in Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill.
Colonel Fenton: “It is the governor’s advice to you, Sir, not to incur the further displeasure of His Majesty. Your conduct has been such as makes you liable to penalties for which persons can be sent to England for trial for treason. But, by changing your political course, you will not only receive great personal advantages, but you will make your peace with the King.”
Samuel Adams: “Then you may tell Governor Gage that I trust I have long since made my peace with the King of Kings. No personal consideration shall induce me to abandon the righteous cause of my country. And tell Governor Gage it is the advice of Samuel Adams to him, no longer to insult the feelings of an exasperated people.” OK, here we have Adams essentially telling the officer, the governor, and the King himself—the most powerful man on the planet—to take a royal hike. How many of us have such unshakeable principles, and the inner strength to back them up? 

3. A lesson in communicating

Many of us lament the daily interruptions to our work from e-mail, faxes, and phone calls. We sometimes see these means of connection as little more than roadblocks to productivity. In the 18th century there was no Internet, and no fax machines or cell phones, but the leaders of the rebellion placed a high priority on staying 
connected and spreading the word. (“The British are coming, the British are coming”—does that pithy jingle ring a bell?) One of the keys to the revolutionaries’ success against England’s might was their “mastermind alliance.” Patriots such as Ben Franklin tapped into the power and influence of collective creativity by networking with other progressive-minded thinkers. They didn’t always agree on the details, but they did help one another toward their common goal: freedom from tyranny. 
Adams organized the “committees of correspondence” along with John Hancock and Lee to pound the pavement and circulate news and information throughout the colonies via handwritten letters. The Boston Tea Party was such an effective publicity stunt–cum–political act that it inspired copycat events throughout the colonies. Paul Revere and two compatriots sped through the Massachusetts night to spread the alarm of British invasion. Thomas Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense was widely circulated and turned the tide of public opinion toward independence. No more technology than a printing press to that, but talk about an effective communication strategy. What do we do to generate buzz and excitement about our ideas and beliefs? How willing are we to spread the word about the causes that we support?

4. A lesson in perseverance
Though independence was declared in 1776, it would take six trying years before the dream of freedom from English rule would be realized. During that time Washington would lose more battles than he’d win. His own men would border on desertion. His most valuable general and trusted friend, Benedict Arnold, would betray him and the cause. And of course, thousands of lives would be lost and untold property destroyed. There were many opportunities to give up. Arnold gave up. But Washington and his compatriots did not. Arnold took the path of less resistance. Washington and the others refused to be defeated by power and tradition. And it was they who changed the course of history.How resilient are we in the face of obstacles? How do we deal with setbacks and hardship?

5. A lesson in sacrifice
Beyond the soldiers facing death on the battlefield, many other Americans helped bring the dream of July 4th to fruition, people who toiled behind the scenes, such as Abigail Adams.While her husband, John, traveled and labored to build the fledgling state (as a circuit judge, delegate to the Continental Congress, envoy abroad, and elected officer under the Constitution), Mrs. Adams, like women throughout the colonies, oversaw the daily workings of the family farm, managed the finances, and raised and educated five children (including the future president John Quincy Adams). Like most women of her time, Mrs. Adams had no formal schooling, so she educated herself. She became a prolific reader and letter writer, leaving behind a correspondence of some 2,000 letters that give us an window into how she viewed politicsand society, her contributions to the war effort—and her station in life. On the eve of independence, Mrs. Adams wrote to her husband: “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors.” How do we balance work, civic responsibilities, and family life? How do we redress the accepted infringements of liberty still present in our time?

6. A lesson in professionalism

While Thomas Jefferson has received the lion’s share of accolades for the Declaration, John Adams also served on the writing committee and was instrumental in bringing the Declaration about. Jefferson called Adams “the Colossus of that Congress—the great pillar of support to the Declaration of Independence, and its ablest advocate and champion on the floor of the House."

After the war was won, political differences caused these patriots-in-arms to become adversaries for many years. But finally Jefferson wrote a letter to Adams, and the two renewed a friendship and correspondence that lasted for the rest of their lives. Strangely enough, Jefferson and Adams both died on July 4. On July 3, 1826, Jefferson lay on his deathbed. Perhaps realizing the significance of passing on the 50th anniversary of his magnum opus, he uttered his last words to the attendant “This is the Fourth?” To comfort him, the man replied that it was, whereupon Jefferson smiled and fell into a sleep from which he would never awaken. Adams had resolved to live until the 50th anniversary of the Declaration; when his servant asked him that morning if he knew the date, the 90-year-old said, “Oh, yes, it is the glorious fourth of July. God bless it. God bless you all.” Adams would die later hat afternoon, with the final words “Jefferson still survives.” He didn’t know that Jefferson had died just a few hours earlier at Monticello.How will each of us greet our last day? With the regret of unfinished business and unresolved conflict? Or with the pride of a life well led?

7. A lesson in legacy
One amazing aspect of the Declaration of Independence is that Jefferson’s words capture an idea and a spirit that predate them. “But what do we mean by the American 
Revolution?” asked John Adams. “Do we mean the American war? The Revolution was effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.” True, the notion of freedom lived in the hearts and minds of the colonists for a long time before it was finally committed to paper. But once written down, once codified in words, the idea gained clarity—and strength. Once written down, this touchstone of the democratic ideal could harness the power of the will of the people to be free.Building on Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, the 33-year-old Jefferson drafted a document that became a powerful call to action, a blueprint that would not only inspire but support the hard work to come. He penned the ultimate mission statement of the country: “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.”
Do we know what we are working toward in life? 
Do we know what legacy our work will leave for those generations that follow us? Do we have our own personal mission statement?


About Wealth Financial Partners, LLC

Walter Pardo is Managing Partner of Wealth Financial Partners is an independent retirement planning and wealth management firm based out of Basking Ridge, New Jersey with expertise in financial life planning including investments, long-term care insurance, life insurance, 401(k) rollovers, retirement planning, tax planning and wealth conservation. For more information about Wealth Financial Partners, LLC, (877) 714-2362

106 Allen Road, 1st Floor, Basking Ridge, NJ 07920

Securities and advisory services are offered through Independent Financial Group, LLC (IFG), a registered broker-dealer and investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC. Wealth Financial Partners and IFG are unaffiliated entities. OSJ Branch: 12671 High Bluff Dr. Ste 200 San Diego, CA 92130 licensed in: CA, FL, GA, KS, MN, NY, NJ, IL, PA, OH, SC, CT. 

Information provided is from sources believed to be reliable however we cannot guarantee or represent that it is accurate or complete. Because situations vary, any information provided on this site is not intended to indicate suitability for any particular investor. Hyperlinks are provided as a courtesy. 


The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News



AtlantiCast Medical Minute: Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center

On this episode of the AtlantiCast Medical Minute, we’ll take you inside the Atlantic Orthopedic Institute’s Scoliosis and Spinal Deformity Center, with the center’s director, Jason Lowenstein, MD.

Video Link:

Guest Column: Help! My Boss is A Bully and Harasses Me

Women in all fields have experienced sexual harassment as well as sexual assault by the famous and the merely inconspicuous. Too often the powers that be in the workplace turn a blind eye or protect the harasser.  Worse yet, the harassment is often accompanied by bullying and intimidation.

What should you do if you find yourself in a situation where your boss or supervisor is sexually ...

Morris Animal Inn: February is National Pet Dental Health Month

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Throughout the month of February, when you schedule your dog's teeth brushing at Morris Animal Inn's Salon, your dog will receive a FREE Dental treat.

Schedule now at 973-532-5030 or visit

Bullet Found at Brooklawn School Causes Lockdown - Updated

February 17, 2018

PARSIPPANY, NJ - A stray bullet that was found in the hallway of Brooklawn Middle School was the cause of a lockdown yesterday afternoon.  

At approximately 2:25 PM Brooklawn Middle School was placed in lockdown after a student found a bullet in a hallway.

School Resource Officer P. McCarthy is assigned to and stationed inside the school and he quickly responded to ...

Elizabeth Schools Report One Student Has Died from Flu Virus

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The Elizabeth School District has reported that one student has died from Influenza (Flu).

“It is with great sadness that I must report to you that the Elizabeth School District has lost one of its own,”  Elizabeth Superintendent of Schools Olga Hugelmeyer wrote in a letter to parents over the weekend. The Superintendents letter is ...

Grand Reopening Activities for Morristown National Historical Park this Weekend

February 16, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The schedule of events for the Grand Opening of the Morristown National Historical Park's Discover History Center has been announced. From February 17 through February 20, visitors can attend a variety of talks, walks, interactive exhibits, and performances.  

All events will begin or occur at the Washington’s Headquarters Museum, 30 Washington ...

Morristown High School Presents 'Anything Goes'

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Rehearsals are underway for the 2018 Morristown High School production of Anything Goes. There will be four performances; Thursday March 8, Friday March 9, Saturday March 10 and Sunday March 11

Tickets are on sale and available at

Sign up to get all the news as it happens at and follow us on Facebook ...

Free Event

Happening today at 10am

Registration is Open for Morris Elite's Spring and Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

Morris Elite Soccer Camp will be offering four weeks of camp this summer. Don't miss out! Register now at

Celebrate Presidents Day with Photography Exhibition on George Washington’s Headquarters

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The museum at New Jersey’s Morristown National Historical Park kicks off Presidents Day with the debut solo exhibition George Washington’s Headquarters:  Photographs by Xiomáro, curated by Jude M. Pfister, D.Litt, the park’s Chief of Cultural Resources.  Admission is free and the 24 large images of the Ford Mansion, which served as ...

Macculloch Hall Historical Museum Remembers Abraham Lincoln; Feb. 19

MORRISTOWN, NJ - Macculloch Hall Historical Museum is hosting a program for children on Monday February 19 titled, "Abraham Lincoln Remembered".

Kids can learn about Lincoln’s whistle-stop train trip that began on February 11, 1861 when he traveled from his home in Springfield, Illinois to Washington, DC, where he took the presidential oath of office and began his first term as ...

The HOPE ONE Van Comes to Morristown Library Feb. 8th

February 8, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  The HOPE ONE van will be at the Morristown & Morris Township Library on today, February 8 from 9am - 2pm. 

The  HOPE One vehicle, which previously was used in police tactical operations is now a mobile recovery access vehicle. The vehicle, which  has trained staff on site, provides individuals with information about rehab, detox services, ...

iCan Bike, a Bike Riding Camp For People With Disabilities, Comes To CCM in Randolph

RANDOLPH, NJ- iCan Bike, a camp to teach individuals with disabilities to ride a conventional two-wheel bicycle, is coming to County College of Morris in the summer of 2018.  CCM is generously providing the use of their gymnasium for the iCan Bike organizers to run their program in.

The camp, which will be held August 6-10, is one of several programs run under the auspices of iCan Shine, ...

Morrisown Students Invited to the Morris County Public Safety Youth Academy

February 19, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The sixth-annual Morris County Public Safety Youth Academy program will be held this July for students entering grades 9-12 in the fall. Enrollment will begin March 1 and close April 8. The program is designed for students entering Grades 9 – 12 in the fall of this year.  

The 2018 program will be held the week of July 23 – July 27 (Mon – ...

Brendan Fletcher of "The Voice" Named as a Judge for Morristown ONSTAGE

MORRISTOWN, NJ – The Morris Educational Foundation (MEF) has announced this year’s panel of professional judges which includes 2016 semi-finalist on The Voice and New Jersey native, Brendan Fletcher.  Brendan was introduced to Morristown ONSTAGE last year when his friend and fellow musician, Jay Phatak, competed for the top prize and won last year’s 19 and over ...

Morris Township Firemen Host Valentine's Day Flower and Gift Sale

MORRIS TOWNSHIP, NJ - Planning on getting roses for someone special this Valentine's Day? Why not get them from the HIllside Fire House and help support the Morris Township Emergency Management Association and the Morris Township Firefighter's Mutual Benevolent Association Local 70 .

The roses will be on sale at the Hillside Fire House, 132 Western Avenue on February 12 ...

Very Hot Tea Increases Cancer Risk

Researchers in China studying the consumption of “burning” hot tea, alcohol, and smoking habits of greater than 450,000 people ages 30 –79 for more than nine years found a five time greater risk of esophageal cancer in those who engaged in all three of the behaviors and a two time greater risk in those who either smoked or drank alcohol and consumed burning hot tea as compared ...

The 33% Approval Rating of this Administration Illustrates One Thing: The Electoral College Failed

The 33% Approval Rating of this Administration Illustrates One Thing: The Electoral College Failed

Jeff Sessions-  “Why would be bring somebody into the country who is illiterate in their own language?”  -To Tucker Carlson on FOX.

The most frustrating thing about the television is the one sided conversations that take place.  When the Attorney General, Jeffrey B.

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying or Selling in NJ

Team Nest Builder knows that whether you are buying or selling a New Jersey home it can be quite the adventure, which is why you need an experienced real estate professional to guide you on the path to achieving your ultimate goal. But in this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can ‘For Sale by Owner’ or ...

NYJ Class for Young Mindless Players

If only this was true.....

Good morning. My name is Todd Bowles, head coach for the New York Jets, as you are all aware. Today we will be going over some of the stupidest things you should not do while playing for the NFL. Your agent should have gone over the NFL conduct rules and the New York Jets rules (although sometimes ours are a little less harsher, hush, hush) while you were signing ...

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper

Super Carb Diet by Bob Harper with Danny Pellegrino (St. Martin's Press, 2017)

It's hard to go on a serious diet, one on which you expect to be successful and maintain a loss. Fortunately, in his new book Super Carb Diet, Bob Harper has given the weight watching world a sensible new diet plan to help achieve a healthy weight.

Harper, host of NBC's popular show The Biggest Loser, ...

Game of Thrones: A Definitive Ranking of Seasons 1-7

Groundhog Day. The day a tiny mammal’s shadow tells us when winter will come to an end. Me? I prefer my weather forecast in the form of a white raven (the telltale changing of seasons in Westeros).

For a few days, rumors spread that Game of Thrones will not return for its final season until April 2019, and while it was clarified that the April return date was likely a false rumor, HBO ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Guest Column: How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 15, 2018

Guest Column

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, February 20

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Tue, February 20, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Andrea Gianchiglia: Tools of the Trade

Arts & Entertainment

Tue, February 20, 9:00 AM

The Center for Contemporary Art, Bedminster

Keepers of the Chroma: An Exhibition Regarding ...

Arts & Entertainment

CCM Library to Offer Free Workshops in Grant Writing and Fundraising Workshops Provided by Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network

February 19, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ – The County College of Morris (CCM) Library’s Foundation Center Funding Information Network is offering three free workshops on the Foundation Center products during the college’s Spring Break, March 12-15.   The CCM Library is a participant in the Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network. Network partners provide a suite of ...