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Thursday, October 25, 2007

What Is Freedom And How Do We Enjoy it

Two things have happened in the past week that have led me to a new focus of some of my posts. First of all, Ken over at The Liberals Lies, The Conservative Truth wrote a post asking if Americans still cherish their freedom. The other thing happened this past Monday when the mail included the latest rounds of NetFlix movies. We watched a pretty good family movie called "Flicka" (only one bad word, no nudity or suggestive scenes, and no violence. Unless you count being thrown by a horse as violence. We have horses, and I have been thrown by more than one. Compared to a right cross from an Army ranger, the horse throwing hurts much worse) . A Disney story line - free spirit girl finds free spirit mustang on her families ranch, dad sends the mustang off so it doesn't hurt anyone and of course, the girl ends up with the horse and all ends well. At the end, we hear her thoughts about how she feels when riding this beautiful horse - She said when she and Flicka are riding, she feels FREE.

So what is freedom? How do you define it, enjoy it, exercise it, and share it? Freedom can be understood in more than one context, and in upcoming posts I will present issues and items in the context of freedom and how I see it.

Allow me to first posit this thought: Freedom is situational. I think to some extent that the individual perspective on freedom leads to an association with a political party, or at least to an ideology. Freedom to me is the ability to lead my own life with little interference from government. Freedom is the opportunity to make decisions that result in mistakes both large and small; the opposite result of my decisions is that I have superb successes. Either way, I am not constrained by figurative boxes nor do I have decisions dictated to me by a government that thinks they should control me and my family.

Freedom is the ability to think what I wish without fear of repercussion. It is the ability to sit here and type this post. It is worshipping where I wish, eating where I wish, hunting or fishing if I desire. It is the protection of the law for defending my home. It is participating in local government to tell them when we need roads paved or new fire trucks or a change in the garbage collection schedule.

Freedom is not a "right" granted by someone or something. It is the natural state of man that while we form tribes or cities or fraternities or hunting clubs or any other sociological group of common interests, we are individuals with prejudices and ideas and preferences.

We should cherish and defend our freedoms. I think that the left and the right in our society view freedom differently. I also think that while we espouse freedom, that the left forgets that everyone is free and that sometimes it means that you exercise your freedom on an issue in a personal way, not force it upon others who choose a different path.

We also must subjugate small slices of the freedom pie to the society at large. Should I be free to paint my house 14 different colors? Of course. How about if that means that property values drop for 96 other homeowners in the vicinity? Some statutes are meant to preserve the general concept of freedom and not a specific instance of it.

Thanks for sticking with this somewhat rambling post, but I am trying to frame my upcoming series for myself as well as you. Later today I will have Part I. Stay tuned!

3 Posts From Readers:

nanc said...

excellent post, robert - your definition of freedom is as concise as any i've seen.

wisdom should always be a major component of freedom otherwise there would be anarchy.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robert! I'm back among the living again and just in time. Awesome post. That's a really thought provoking question you asked. And I agree with you on your definitions. Freedom to me how I want, worshiping how and when I want, saying what I want, going where I want and being who I am. The problem is that they come with limits and responsibility. And they are needed. Say for instance..... saying what I want, where I want. If I scream fire in a crowded movie theatre. It would create chaos and someone could get hurt. That is when personal responsibility comes in. It's a fine line and I think that's why the definition of freedom will be different for everybody.

The Liberal Lie The Conservative Truth said...

Well said Robert. Freedom must be cherished or we shall fall to anyone who offers us anything in place of our freedoms.

Government entitlements force a dependancy which gradually and shurly whittle away at freedom as the people become slaves to government.

Freedom is the ability to step out of our front door and take a breath of air knowing that it is a breath I choose to take and that no one whether in government, private, or business has the right to tell me where and how I should breath. This holds for every aspect of our lives.

Freedom is just that, the liberty to decide for myself how best my life should be lived!

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