The Many Meanings of Independence

Freedom. Liberty. Autonomy. The word “independence” has a slew of synonyms and it means many different things to many different people and entities.

To American colonists of the late 18th century, who on July 4, 1776, declared their independence from the British Empire, it meant no more taxes without representation, no more tyranny and the promise of a democratic nation. That fateful July pronouncement, of course, is now celebrated as Independence Day in the United States. On this day, Americans gather in back yards, parks, squares, the streets, stadiums and elsewhere and cook out, consume alcohol, watch sports and parades and, of course, enjoy the fireworks display. The signers of the declaration and the contents of the document are, in most cases, the furthest thing from their mind. What they’re celebrating is independence from their job on that particular day.

El Salvador, the small, picturesque country in Central America where OSI is based, also celebrates an independence day. On September 15, 1821, five Central American countries—El Salvador, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua—declared their independence from Spain. Throughout September, these countries celebrate (in their own unique way) with food, parades, piñatas, music, dancing, fireworks, speeches from students and politicians and other special events. A torch is carried on foot and passed hand to hand through each of the countries, beginning in Guatemala and ending in Costa Rica. Lanterns, symbolizing hope and freedom, are hung in the streets.

This year marks 200 years of independence for these five countries! Expect the celebrations to be even more spirited, passionate and traditional than usual.

Here at OSI, of course, we have our own interpretation of independence. In our estimation, independence is a collaborative effort—those five Central American countries fought together to earn their freedom—and it’s something we aspire to provide our clients. Independence from busywork. The freedom for your staff to focus on its specialty—on what it does best. The promise of your company fulfilling its potential. 

We are also proud of the independence we afford our employees. Financial independence. The independence to take measured risks and to be creative, to try something new. The independence to grow within the company and to have a full and rich personal life.

However you interpret and celebrate independence, we wish you a happy and healthy July Fourth! We hope you find your independence, in whatever form it may be!