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. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men… The Declaration of Independence
In spite of my best efforts, intentions and ideology, I must confess that I truly only think about the freedoms of this country a couple times a year.
Often, it’s when my worldview feels threatened by change or a political development occurs that I disagree with before I really consider the freedoms I enjoy daily, living where I live.
And sometimes it takes tragedy.
Losing the Memory of Freedom
In his book “Black Belt Patriotism: How to Reawaken America,” Chuck Norris talks about losing the memory of freedom – he points out the way that free nations collapse:
1. Humans Sacrifice for Freedom
2. Humans Overindulge in Freedom
3. Humans Forget What Freedom Truly Means
4. The Infrastructure of Society Breaks Down
As a Nation, will our enjoyment of plenty lead us to losing the memory of Freedom? Is this happening in the United States of America already?
The American Dream
This concept seems to have taken on a much more personal definition in the past few decades. I used to think there was only one right answer to this:
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. Thomas Jefferson
I still lean on this definition. It saddens me to hear those who think the American Dream is nothing more than “homeownership.”
Forbes has an interesting collection of answers to this question HERE.
Are you using your God-given talent to make the world a better place? In this country we can, and I feel a personal responsibility to do so.
“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge or gallantry would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for any other.”
Freedom was originally associated with virtue (when is the last time you have even heard that word used?). Now it seems that freedom is used as an excuse to not be judged.
How many times have you heard someone say “Hey, man – it’s a free country” in defense of their own (rude or questionable) actions?
Freedom is a responsibility, not license to do as you please with out regard for others.Enjoy Your Freedom this 4th of July, but ask yourself how might we all behave if we truly considered it a responsibility? What might you do different tomorrow?
My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man. John F. Kennedy