His name is John Hancock. He was born in January, 1737, so in 1776 when he served as President of the Continental Congress and was the first to sign their Declaration of Independence, he was still a young man of only 39 years old. When we look at the portraits of our founding fathers, we tend to imagine that they were all old men - but that's just not so.
And something else - in 1776 when John Hancock signed that Declaration, he was a very wealthy man. Which means that he had a lot to lose by speaking out against the king.
The speaking out was bad enough, but when he signed that Declaration of Independence it was treason against the king, so he was marked as a traitor for his action, and, get this, a bounty was place on his head, dead or alive, of 500 British pounds. Wow, pretty severe.
So, what was his reaction to that bounty?
Well, when he signed his name, he signed big, so big that after signing, he said,
“There! His Majesty can read my signature, even without his glasses
– and he can double the reward on my head”.
Wow! Having something you believe in so strongly that you do it, regardless of the possible consequences.
Do you have something you believe in so strongly that you would put your life on the line for it? Think about it.