Let Freedom Ring

Happy Birthday America.

234 years young.

While that might sound ancient in terms of “people” years, when you talk about nations, it’s actually quite infantile.   When we were traveling in England a few years ago, we stopped in a neighborhood pub where the cornerstone read 1150 a.d.

Now, that’s ancient.

But America has grown up pretty quickly, with a rapid fire trajectory to the top in terms of economy and political values and natural resources.   Sometimes I wonder if, like some of the teenagers I see around me, we haven’t grown up a bit too fast, taken on more responsibility than we can handle, and even stepped out of line on more than a few occasions.  In fact, some of our recent problems might be  a “time out,” a reality check that some behavior modification is in order.

But after all, our founding fathers were quite the rebellious upstarts, weren’t they?  Just ask King George who lost those 13 colonies for the British Empire.   And their hearts were certainly in the right place, with their ideals about representative government, religious freedom, and equal opportunity for all. 

We’re still working on some of that, but like anything worth having, it takes time and effort to make it all come true.

With any luck, we’ll still be striving and strong until we’re really ancient.

Happy Independence Day.

Let Freedom Ring.

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5 thoughts on “Let Freedom Ring

  1. I would agree with you, that we’re in a kind of ‘time out’ now. It’s probably good that some of our leaders are in a ‘thinking chair’; I can’t help but wonder if we went back to the foundation of our roots, our faith and morals, that things wouldn’t be better than they are now. That sounds so preachy of me, don’t mean it that way, just that I think we’re too confused on what’s acceptable behavior and what isn’t. All in the name of freedom.

    • Although I believe that the diversity in America is a vital part of what the country is all about, the danger is that our fundamental principals and values can become diluted when we start to subsume them in muti-culture. I wish-hope-pray we can find a way to restore America and still remain open to multiculturalism.

  2. Bellezza’s point is well taken. We seem to have forgotten that freedom isn’t license. Just because we can do something doesn’t necessarilly mean that we should do something.

    Freedom isn’t opposed to ethics and morals, freedom is the necessary ingredient for ethical and moral lives. When governments or bureaucracies deny people freedom, the right to make decisions about their own lives, they are cutting the heart out of society.

    The people who built this country were adults. They were willing to make commitments, make decisions and accept responsibility – not perfectly, of course. But they were willing. Today, I see our society becoming ever more infantile, increasingly unwilling to commit to hard decisions or hard work.

    Of course there are terrific people, and wonderful communities. But we need to take a good look at how we’re living our lives. Our decisions will have consequences for the future.

    • Well said, as always 🙂 There is a widespread tendency to “pass the buck” in terms of responsibility, point the finger at someone else. Responsbility comes with the privelege of freedom, and we each have to step up to that plate in terms or our personal lives and within the community at large.

  3. I had to chuckle when I read your analogy to the teenagers, it reminds me of what I wrote about Europe and America in my bio: “I often think of America as a teenager after a strong growth spurt, filled with energy, potential and hormonal confusion, while Europe is the old man who sits back with a cigar and glass of red wine, reminiscing with a twinkle in his eye on the life that has etched itself deeply into the ridges of his face.” America is not the same country I came to love when I first lived here 25 years ago, it has changed internally as well as in the perception of other countries. But while I miss Europe very much I love the fierce spirit of freedom and opportunity that still pervades the core of this country. But as you say, freedom is not a right but a privilege that comes with responsibilities and I worry about our future generations taking it all for granted. That is never good.

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