Thursday, July 4, 2013
We Hold These Truths...
No. They became free when they had declared themselves to BE free of George III of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Yet, to die for is the number of times we have failed to embody and insist on the most basic concepts of the Declaration.
Or when we have willingly let go of them because we were honestly afraid of being that free. Or couldn't be bothered to take the effort.
It's wonderful at this national holiday celebrating the birth of our nation to remember that it was not a military victory that founded it. Rather, it was the birth of an idea. Honor members of our military, veterans for sure. Always.
But honor others even more highly: people not afraid to speak and write and live the highest ideals and vision of which we human beings are capable. Honor our best thinkers. Especially the ones who are willing to pledge their lives in the cause of these ideas.
Living here requires more of us than being allegiantly inert, dutifully uniformed, steadfastly inactive, loyally blind, unconvinced of the common good.
Living here requires more than complacently thinking that we are kept "free" by a volunteer military that over 98% of Americans will never participate in.
Freedom is not the same as safety and security with which it is too commonly conflated and confused. Safety and security exist in the absence of threats and violence. Freedom exists in the presence of activity. Freedom exists not in its having but in its doing. It must be exercised or it asphyxiates.