A New Nation ~ A Second Chance
Posted on: 1st February 2016 18:46:47

"…Been livin' with nothing to show for it. You get what you get when you go for it…”

(Barry Manilow, 1978)



This film introduces us to a group of people who truly have been, “living with nothing to show for it.”


“For ten years King George and his parliament have gulled, cullied and diddled these colonies with their illegal taxes! Stamp Acts, Townsend Acts, Sugar Acts Tea Acts!”


What will (they) get “when (they) go for it?”


“When we dared stand up like men, they have stopped our trade, seized our ships, blockaded our ports, burned our towns, and spilled our blood!”



In the Second Continental Congress, there are those (Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and of course, John Adams), who believe that the chance for independence is too crucial to be ignored. (“Still this Congress refuses to grant any of my proposals on independence!”)



Welcome to the February 2016 Edition ~ 1776


Is it ironic that the focus of this year of blogs is on second chances? The man who would become the second President of the United States proposes Independence in the Second Continental Congress? 1776 is the second film in the guidebook? Perhaps. However, a better word would be happenstance. It simply happened that way.


As you, your clients, students, and intergenerational family members, take another look at this film, take the opportunity to discuss the meaning second chance in all its forms. (To say the right thing, to do the right thing.)


As you look in on the gentlemen of the Second Continental Congress, John Adams feels it is incumbent upon him to lead his colleagues to do the right thing. “ I say vote yes! Vote yes! Vote for Independency!”


However, what is right to him, his friends, (Franklin, and Jefferson), is an uneasy proposition for his colleagues. Franklin says it best: “You talk as if independence were the rule. It’s never been tried before, no colony has ever broken from the parent stem in the history of the world…Consider what you’re doing…we are men, no more no less trying to get a nation started against greater odds than a more generous God would allow…Independence first…America -- if we don’t secure that what difference will the rest make?”


As the story continues, Franklin’s words weigh upon Adams and Jefferson. It is Jefferson, who is forced to say the right things. In order to see it approved, and signed by his colleagues, Jefferson removes significant passages from the Declaration, specifically the passage regarding slavery. As you view these scenes (Slavery and Reading the Declaration), spend time discussing how what is right may be skewed by popular opinion or consensus. This may lead to a great discussion regarding the politics of 1776 versus the politics of today.


As Jefferson and Adams wrestle with saying and doing what is right to secure a political harmony, what of their relationships with their spouses? Remember, each man has the opportunity for a second chance with a spouse. (Jefferson’s wife comes to see him as he attempts to write the Declaration. Adams pours his heart into letters to wife Abigail.)


These scenes illustrate the longing each has for the other and the great desire each has for a chance to be together. Spend time with your older generation clientele discussing separations, opportunities lost, and found to be together in each relationship. How did each encounter affect the relationship? Be sure to open this question to your clients’ own relationships. Great stories are sure to emerge.


As these stories emerge, revel in them, ask questions, and share intergenerational stories of love, hope, and second chances. Sit down and sing a song and you may find that this month’s thought provoking question:


What is it about this movie musical that makes us happy when we are sad? Makes us want to sing, reminisce, and find that second chances are always welcome? has been answered:


It’s informative, insightful, and it’s fun!




PS. The fun continues when we travel to Rosemont, IL for the 2016 Illinois Speech–Language Hearing Association Convention (ISHA) February 11-13 at The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.


Visit us at Booth 306!


~~ Lori


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