When you get a minute, over the course of the weekend, I hope you'll read the Declaration of Independence. (Click here for a copy.) The second paragraph is the juiciest, containing the basic human rights on which this country was founded: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. (Jefferson borrowed some of these ideas from English political philosopher John Locke, who wrote earlier that the basic human rights were life, liberty, and property. ) Jefferson established that the purpose of government was to help human beings secure these rights. On these principles, the republic of the United States is established. We, the citizens, are the rulers, which is a hefty responsibility when you stop to think about it. For our republic to function, we citizens have to be well-informed and pro-active. The best route to becoming an educated citizen is to read the primary documents upon which this great country is founded. So take a minute this weekend to read that famous birthday announcement of our new nation, The Declaration of Independence. If you can, read it out loud to your family, just as it was done across the colonies in 1776, after we Americans first gained the rights and responsibilities of freedom. You may want to even take off your hat and shout a few huzzahs in between sparklers and piccolo petes.
1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves