“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” — USA Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

This week in the United States of America, there is the traditional “4th of July” holiday, celebrating the writing of the Declaration of Independence.

As I thought about the meaning of this holiday, I was inspired to read similar documents from other countries.  Here is a small sample of quotes.

Constitution of South Africa, Chapter 2, Bill of Rights.
Section 9: everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and the benefit of the law. Prohibited grounds of discrimination include race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, and birth.

The Constitution of the Russian Federation.
Article 19.2.3 Man and woman shall enjoy equal rights and freedoms and have equal possibilities to exercise them.

The Constitution of the United Mexican States.
Article 1. Discrimination based on ethical or national origin as well as discrimination based on gender, age, disabilities of any kind, social status, health condition, religious opinions, preferences of any kind, civil status or any other reason which attempts against human dignity and which is directed to either cancel or restrain the individuals’ privileges and immunities shall be prohibited.

*** 
Words like these are not written into a constitution unless there is a fundamental need to establish clarity in what we aspire to be.

As leaders, we must hold high aspirations about the way we want to see the world and communicate those ideas with clarity.

Most importantly, we must act to make those self-evident truths evident not just in words, but in how we lead.  Our words and actions influence the people and the world around us to also rise to those aspirations.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett
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