Freedom – throughout history men and women have dreamed of that word. They’ve spoken of it in hushed whispers around cooking fires, they’ve downed tankards to it in taverns, and they have shouted the word in gallant charges, and from the walls of shattered bastions, where they fought and died for it.
Nations have chased the dream it represents. Some have caught it briefly, but it’s proven to be an elusive commodity in this world, because actual freedom is independent thought – it’s not what we acquire, it’s how we think, and what we’re allowed to think, or say.
Freedom in its youth is euphoric – young and strong – but it seems the longer a nation enjoys this commodity the less it respects it, and the less it is willing to sacrifice to keep it. The sense of privilege erodes and an atmosphere of arrogant lethargy takes its place, and when that happens, freedom can morph into velvet chains. The less a people think for themselves the more inclined they are to sacrifice freedom for the drone of “the hive.”
I don’t know who said it, but I love the expression: “You don’t know how much you loved something until it’s taken away,” and freedom certainly applies. But the truth is, freedom, just like every other valuable commodity, has to be earned. America is full of people shouting the word, but today, what they’re really shouting for is independence from responsibility, and exclusion from regulations, and that’s not freedom. As soon as someone else supplies you with the means to survive, they own you.
“Freedom from taxes…”
“Freedom from authority…”
“Freedom from the drudgery of earning a living…”
“Freedom from marital and child-rearing responsibility…”
“Freedom from laws that we don’t agree with…”
When you package the above you don’t have freedom, you have anarchy. At some point the illusion of freedom will become too difficult to maintain – someone will remove the props and pull open the curtain at the back of the stage, and everyone will see the concrete wall of the theater… (Frank Zappa).
Freedom can’t be given to you. It has to be earned daily, with conscience, diligence, learning, and character. A nation (and its freedom) cannot exist without virtue, and no nation is ever more than one generation away from extinction. Be careful America, that you don’t nurture privilege over effort, or ideology over common sense, and leave a world in which our children tell their children what it was once like in America – where men and women prospered, and were actually free.
Michael Reisig has been writing professionally for 15 years. He is an award-winning newspaper columnist and a best-selling novelist. Be sure to check out his latest best seller, Somewhere on the Road to Key West. You can see more of Michael’s work and a short biography at Amazon.com.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com