September 26, 2008 at 4:31 am Leave a comment

Freedom! – by Lauren Kennedy

Freedom is one of life’s most precious gifts. But even gifts require maintenance, appreciation, and responsibility. And freedom, like all gifts, come with inherent responsibility.

By it’s nature,  freedom includes transformation, risk, and  revelation. You cannot have freedom and at the same time expect total protection, compliance and safety.

The freedom to drive a vehicle, comes with the possibility of being involved in a car accident. The freedom to make our own decisions includes accepting the consequences that result from our choices. And a citizen in a free country cannot expect that the police, the armed forces, secret government agencies and the government itself, will insure protection from everyone at all times.

In the aftermath of 911, we have closed our eyes while the government has slowly chipped away at our rights. We have condoned, by our silence, the use of torture. We would have condemned another country if they had behaved likewise. We have looked the other way as individuals in our country have been whisked off the street, imprisoned and denied outside communication, based solely on vague suspicions, ethnic background, personal beliefs or reading preferences.

We have been so intent on revenge that we have stood by while the executive branch over reached their their position, made their own rules and led us into a war, through propaganda and false information, in order to pursue their personal agenda.

I realize that certain precautions are necessary. Airline security, background checks for violent affiliations before foreigners enter the country, cooperation between the various government organizations so pertinent information can be assimilated to implement precautions to prevent violence against US citizens.
But the gift of freedom will only survive if we are diligent in our responsibilities. We cannot give up our rights because of fear, righteous indignation, or apathy. Freedom requires that we value human rights, civil rights and demand the truth from our officials even when it is inconvenient. It requires that we honor justice but not revenge. It means that we demonstrate the integrity to admit our mistakes and the virtue to make the appropriate changes. Freedom means that we refuse to join in on a witch hunt. We can not tolerate using  force as a shortcut to diplomacy, compromising human rights, relinquishing personal liberties and being feed misinformation. They are not compatible with freedom. And we must become wise enough to realize that  control and life without risks is not only the antithesis of freedom but also quite impossible.

To remain truly free, we must upload the principles of honesty, integrity, respect for all humans, tolerance for everyone’s personal beliefs and an allowance to various lifestyles.

War, torture, disregard for human rights, discounting the facts because they interfere with an agenda, looking the other way while our rights are being dismantled, and blindly accepting false justifications for questionable decisions are not about making ourselves and our country safer. They are about eradicating our own  uncomfortable feelings of powerlessness through force and invincibility. They are about justifying our hunger for revenge. They are about our mistaken belief that we can somehow make life completely safe, fully under our control in every situation or circumstance and convincing ourselves that we are totally blameless, totally noble and always right.

Perhaps we have decided that freedom is too great a responsibility. Perhaps we would rather give in to our fears, pain and out rage. Perhaps we think that revenge and blame are the easiest, quickest way to silence our painful emotions. Perhaps we lack the courage to stand up for the principles of freedom when the going gets tough.

And if that is so, perhaps we lack the character, honesty, integrity and wisdom to retain the precious gift of freedom that we have had the good fortune to enjoy.

Entry filed under: Piority, Motive and Intention. Tags: , , , , , .

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Our life is an evolving creation, shaped by our choices, colored by our desires, and lightened or darkened by our intentions.
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