Over the past several days, the topic of Freedom have been on my mind. As the one thing we can hardly do without, it seems to be the one thing that is in shorter and shorter supply. Understanding full well the fact that many of our readers hail from countries outside of the United States, I will try to draw comparisons that will apply to everyone. That being the case, though, I cannot and will not separate my views on freedom from the founding of the United States as I believe this country has been and will be the place where freedom will be won or lost for the world.
The Declaration of Independence states:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
With rights endowed to man by their Creator, one would think those rights would never be in dispute. The right to live is always under attack, whether it be from despots who wish to "clense the world", to people who would destroy life for gain or political expendiency. This one right, is the foundation whereupon all others rest. Without the right to live, one cannot be free nor happy.
Once we descend to the point where we are assigning criteria in order to have the "Right to Life" there is little that can be done to return from that presipice. The right to live is God given, therefore it is absolute and unquestionable.
The second part of our fundamental freedoms is Liberty. I hate talks that give definitions, but this one I think is instructive.
Liberty is defined as "freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice."
In essence, the liberty is the freedom of choice. Mankind is free to choose their course; to chart it to their good, or their destruction. A consequence is affixed to every choice. To be truely free, one must accept that their freedom to choose can not exempt them from the results of those choices.
Pursuit of Happiness
The final prong to our freedom is the pursuit of happiness. America was built upon the belief that a man could only be held back by the scope and breadth of his vision. Anyone can be whatever they want to be. This particular value is attacked from two entirely different places.
One is by those who feel that posessions and status are owed to them by their neighbors. These people feel that because someone has more than they do, that some injustice has been wrought. They feel that the only way to fix the imbalance is to take from those who have rather than to work themselves up to that level.
They see hard limits on their progression, whereas those who have see their struggles as steps to where they want to be.
Another part of finding your happiness is knowing it when you find it. Happiness is not in possesions, nor is it in status. Find your happiness and live there. Don't try to occupy anothers happy place, because it's likely not a one size fits all situation.
Defense of Freedom
Ronald Reagan once said:
"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the
where men were free." United States
It is when we cease defending the endowments of God that we lose our freedom. Little by little, almost unnoticed, we give away at enormous cost, the liberty we hold most dear. It is my hope and prayer that there never comes a day where we are so far removed from our God given freedom that we no longer know what it looks like.