July 4 is the US national holiday commemorating the signing of our Declaration of Independence. Aside from Christmas, this is probably the most exciting holiday of the year for a kid. We celebrate with the best kid foods – hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, watermelon - a grand parade, waving flags and brilliant fireworks. As I grew older, hot dogs and fireworks weren't as magical to me as the stories of past heroes and the freedoms the day represents.
I know that many of you live in countries far from the US, so you might be wondering why I'm babbling on about my country's history and heritage. Well, while I was buying sparklers and cutting watermelon for my family's July Fourth celebrations, I was thinking about the holiday and independence. But then, my mind began to wander to the various meanings of freedom and independence.
Freedom: 1) exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc. 2) the power to determine action without restraint. (Dictionary.com)
Independence: 1) the state or quality of being independent. 2) freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or the like, of others.3) a competency. (Dictionary.com)
So now you see where my head was going - I'm independent: a genuine DIY nut, self-starter, addicted to learning. The more that I thought about it, the more that I realized that you and I (and my forefathers, but with a more altruistic intent) are similarly motivated. We want to learn, learn, learn, so that we can be more self-sufficient, efficient – even competitive at times.I mean, look at all of the papers that you write to tell others how to use SAS better, faster and more effectively!
So, I've dedicated this month's SAS Tech Report to independence. You'll find as many DIY articles, links and tips as I could fit into one newsletter. If you can think of any great tips that I've left out, please send them along and I'll share them in a future post on the SAS Users Group blog.
Editor, SAS Tech Report