As we approach the coming holiday of the celebration of the birth of our nation, it is time to pause and take account of what this great country represents. This is where a review of history helps to frame why our constitution was crafted, the way it was crafted, why a Bill of Rights exists and why mistakes made from our pasts can be rectified through constitutional amendments to the guidance systems of this country. This is not a history lesson, you can still read or YouTube about those things.
This week is about understanding the awesome responsibility and accountability this thing we call FREEDOM has for each of us in this country. The past weeks have been filled with tragic events of loss of life to violence and the destruction of property. Each of us by our freedom is given the privilege’s to formulate our own opinions and thoughts regarding these events. In some cases freedom provided the very basis for protesting injustice. Unfortunately, some viewed these freedoms with out regard to the liberties the freedom provides for in this country.
These two words are too often confused and intertwined as if they are one in the same. They are not. Freedom typically means to be free from something. Liberty on the other hand is the opportunity to be free to do something. Liberty primarily focuses on the privilege’s which come along with freedom. Without freedoms we do not have liberties. Freedom therefore must be earned, maintained and honored such as to protect our liberties. Our forefathers fought for our initial freedoms and protected them in our constitution and other governing documents. To this very day our constitution not only allows for protest it encourages it because it was part of the very foundation of building this country. The Boston Tea Party was effectively a protest on taxation. How it was done under the disguise of Native Americans adds controversy to the event in today’s view some 200+ years later. So too will the events of the past few weeks be looked at differently 200+ years from now. It does not mean that either were right or wrong, done correctly, or were executed without agendas.
The freedom to have unrestricted opportunity is one thing. The liberty to actually do it and not be open to understand and appreciate that actions have consequences is a different matter altogether. This is why on this 4th of July holiday we ALL must step back and start with some fundamentals. We are ALL created equal. We must ALL respect one another regardless of any of the humanistic visual or non-visual differences. We must ALL take responsibility and accountability for our actions or lack of actions.
Our current society likes to place labels on people. It somehow gives meaning to injustice. The challenge is that labels like color, creed or any of the other protected elements of our law of the land can be twisted to achieve a given agenda. If we start and stay with the fundamentals of universal respect for everyone, great things can come from these less than admirable days of the past few weeks.