Everyone's waxing poetic and politic about the 4th. Independence day, as it were. I have a lot of thoughts about this country -- how I love it enough to criticize it, for instance. And how I support the troops by wanting them all home as soon as possible -- i.e., now.
The other day, when I wrote about the Hobby Lobby decision, I ended the post by saying that everything boils down to two things -- love and fear. This concept wasn't made up by me. In fact, it wasn't conceived by anyone, really. However, it's been articulated by many, and it will continue to be because it's an unshakeable truth.
But I think we conflate the two a lot. Love and fear. You wouldn't think it would be that easy, but we do. We say that we love people, so we want to protect them, and we try and set up things to ensure that they won't die or that they will have a certain sort of experience. Because we care, because we love. But that's just fear in disguise. That's just fearing that they will die or that they won't be happy or that they'll fail or something. It's fear on our part that things won't go the way *we* had hoped.
I understand the sentiment. I do it a lot. I'm not speaking from sort of spiritual mountaintop here. But I just want to say that I think we confuse one for the other. Freedom. We say we want another country to have freedom, to have democracy. But we forget that the way we obtained ours was to fight for it ourselves. We may have obtained assistance from a country here or there, but it was because we asked, not because they stomped over here, declaring we should be free from England's shitty reign.
We forget that. We forget a lot of things. That women didn't get the right to vote until 1920. That's not even 100 years ago yet. Freedom is a strange concept. Is it full-on, balls out, no holds barred nothingness -- everyone for themselves, no restrictions, no restraints? Is it just an opportunity? The potential to do and be and succeed? Is it a collaboration, where people come together and share resources so everyone has the same chance to live and work and pursue happiness?
Everyone's got their own idea about it. At the end of the day, I have a small voice inside of me. Some call it a conscious, some call it god, some call it intuition, some call it spirit. I know that if I honor it and trust it and follow its call, I'll be free. But that requires real honesty. Real faith. Real work. And I'm not always willing to do that. So, I'm bound by a variety of different restraints and not as free as I could be.
I don't know what the 4th of July means to you. Freedom? I hope that whatever you do today, you feel free.
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