What does "Freedom" mean to you?
It means many things to each individual.
Does it mean to be left alone, to have barriers to prosperity removed , to have a level playing field? To have the security to succeed? Or the freedom to fail? The ability to protect yourself, and to determine your own future and your own fortune? To have the ability to purchase (and possess) the tools you need to ensure your own physical security and to feed, house and clothe yourself? To be able to choose where you live, and whom you associate with, and make your own determination as to how you will provide for yourself and your family? To have the freedom to succeed and follow your dreams? To starve if that failure occurs?
Or does it mean something else?
To many, it means security. Security to go to work, to come home and eat dinner. Security to watch TMZ or to spend an hour watching "Survivor". To live in a secure bubble, that security provided by the big daddy bear government. By someone else, someone who can make those hard decisions. Someone who you can give your loyalty to, in exchange for a slight loss of liberties in order that you will feel safe. To live in the zone that is defined for you, in your caste level and your place in society. In a place where rules are made to reflect the lowest common denominator? Where intrusive rules are in place to prevent what MIGHT happen, in order to protect the collective, albeit at a loss of freedom and action.
I fear that kind of security, that faux freedom.
I prefer the other kind. The kind that allows me to succeed, or fail. The kind that enables me to win or lose according to my abilities and the abilities of my compatriots. The kind where I have a level playing field to pit my wits and abilities against others, and let the chips fall where they may. Where I am responsible for my existence, not Big Brother or his elites. Where I have few rules which I must obey, only needing to not harm others or the society in which I live. Where the safety net is slack, and missing in some areas. Where i must provide only for myself, my family, and my friends and those who I choose to give to, not nameless, faceless people whose subsistence is taken from me by the barrel of a gun.
I prefer my version of "freedom" rather than the other.I prefer to hold to the idea of freedom to take an individual approach to my responsibility and security, rather than a collective approach to safety and security. I'd prefer to see the freedom to choose and act, rather than one which denies us that right.
The choice is simple: Serf or citizen? Sheep or sheepdog? Rights of the individual, or the collective herding us into the appropriate pen for processing.
I know what I choose. Do you?
Freedom does not come without a price.
That price is eternal vigilance. The willingness to fight for that freedom. To stand up and say "It stops here". To be the force which stops it.
Are you willing to pay the price?
Brandon Oto over at EMS Basics shares a story where monkey-see monkey-do medicine went wrong. Go read the whole thing, and then come back. If you learn not...
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