Independence Day: The American Idea

American Independence Day. Flat design

Earlier this week I caught U2’s latest tour in Chicago. Despite being Irish, U2 is a band with a constant admiration for America. That respect isn’t without criticism, but the band pushed me to consider America as we approach the Fourth of July and Independence Day here in the U.S.

After a blistering version of “Bullet the Blue Sky”—a critique of U.S. interference in El Salvador in the 1980s—the band transitioned to snippet of “The Hands That Built America” where lead singer Bono spoke eloquently about the idea of America. Then U2 launched into “Pride (In the Name of Love),” that triumphant ode to Martin Luther King Jr.

Bono challenged the audience to live up to the idea of America—that all people are created equal. Our democratic ideals embrace hard work, ingenuity and creativity, and it makes America unique in the world.

U2

Even though they are Irish, the American spirit is evident in U2’s work. They’re constantly pushing the envelope of creativity and technology. For more than 20 years they’ve experimented with stage designs that allow them to interact with an audience, turning 20,000-seat arenas into intimate spaces.

The current tour was no disappointment, including a video divider that doubled as a catwalk, allowing the band to interact with gorgeously animated video clips.

WordPress

It might be a stretch to call WordPress an American invention (it was created by an American and British developer, forked from a project by a French), but it still embodies those ideas of creativity and empowerment.

WordPress gives you the freedom to do what you want with your website. There’s also an persistent growth and development in the WordPress experiment that continually incorporates new ideas and makes the whole thing better. That’s pretty American.

iThemes

Finally, the American spirit is entrepreneurial, and that’s something we embrace here at iThemes.

It’s why we’re doing WProsper this year, focusing on how you can find prosperity in your work. Not because we’re greedy, but because you can’t keep doing what you love unless the bills get paid. And you can’t pursue those dreams without freedom.

That’s why we embrace prosperity.

Happy Independence Day

We celebrate that spirit this weekend with Independence Day. Wherever you are in the world, we hope you have the freedom to chase your dreams, the creativity to achieve those dreams, and the tenacity to see it through.

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