5 costs we need to pay to empower World Freedom
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.” ~ Ronald Reagan
In America, we just celebrated July 4th. It is a time to reflect on what our freedom means. Is your freedom free? Is the freedom from British rule we achieved free? Are the rights we have under the Constitution and Bill of Rights given to us without cost? I THINK NOT!
What is the cost of our FREEDOM that each of us must pay?
Each of us required to understand our freedoms. To understand the flaws in our systems. And to work diligently to remove those flaws. What is the context in which we view freedom? We must view it internationally, nationally, regionally, locally, and personally. Freedom is about caring and serving others. Using your talents to make the world a better place.
At the University in my town as a part of the engineering department, there is a group of students “Aggies without Limits” that exemplify this idea of using your talents to serve others. Throughout the year, they work in the community to help others get work done and raise money. Then during their summer vacations, they go abroad and do a project in a rural area that needs help. They use the funds they have raised to buy materials and their knowledge to design and construct something that is needed. A couple of summers ago they went to South America and built a bridge across a river that allowed the villagers to get to a safe water supply by going a much shorter distance. This is freedom in action. They helped me with a project that was too big for me alone and I could contribute to helping others. Look for these opportunities around you.
Freedom comes with a price that is required each of us to pay. In order to be free, we must be vigilant. It is up to us to notice when freedom isn’t available to everyone in our country. From our own freedom, we must speak up and speak out. We must help right the wrongs in our society. To be free requires us to hold our lawmakers and others to a standard that includes making everyone free and treating everyone equally.
We are each held accountable for protecting our freedoms and the freedoms of others. We cannot stand by and watch the freedom of people to vote being curtailed and not speak out. It is a part of being free that we are responsible to protect and improve the freedoms we enjoy.
They give freedom to us, but it is our responsibility to protect and preserve those freedoms for everyone. Freedom isn’t just given to some of us: the rich, the educated, those that look and believe like us. They gave it to all citizens and those living here under our protection. It is our responsibility to protect the rights of all Americans equally.
It is a shame that we no longer teach civics classes to our youth. They don’t learn that it is their responsibility to continue to make freedom a meaningful concept for everyone.
Freedom calls us to keep it alive with our service to others. Teach our children about helping others by working at soup kitchens, going to assisted-living facilities, and sitting down with the residents to capture their stories. We are called to serve on school boards, library boards, charitable boards, and work with organizations that help bring freedom to reality for others.
Protecting freedom costs lives: firefighters, police officers, and the military. We must not forget each of these lives because they paid this price so that we can be free.
We are free to make choices and we are free to change our minds, perhaps two of our biggest freedoms. Along with these freedoms comes accountability. It held us accountable for our choices. When we make bad choices, there are consequences. When we make good choices, there are also consequences. We have to live with these consequences until we change our minds.
Changing and controlling our minds allows us to free ourselves from the effects of these consequences. We can forgive ourselves for our bad choices and move on.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” ~ Thomas Jefferson
“Eternal vigilance is only part of the price of freedom. The maturity to live with imperfections is another crucial part of the price of freedom.” ~ Thomas Sowell