Do You Support the Reality of Freedom?

I spoke a little about the symbols of freedom a few weeks ago in my post, What’s Your Symbol of Freedom. I’m not advocating that we all see the symbols of freedom in the same way. And yet, the symbols stand for ideas or ideals that we supposedly believe and support. But do you support the idea of freedom? Do you support the reality of freedom? Here are a few quotes that speak to the ideas of freedom that I support.  What Is Freedom Freedom is the emancipation from the arbitrary rule of other men. Mortimer Adler Freedom is not the right to live as we please, but the right to find how we ought to live in order to fulfill our potential. Ralph Waldo Emerson True freedom is always spiritual. It has something to do with your innermost being, which cannot be chained, handcuffed, or put into a jail. Rajneesh For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. Nelson Mandela Liberty, taking the word in its concrete sense, consists in the ability to choose. Simone Weil What choices is Simone Weil talking about? […]

What’s Your Symbol of Freedom and Democracy?

Have you stood at the feet of the colossal copper statue on Staten Island in New York? “The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World” given to the United States by the people of France is recognized as a “universal symbol of freedom and democracy.”  Awestruck to Confused I have always seen myself as a patriot. (You may have guessed this would be the case if you’ve read my Fourth of July posts.) Growing up, my family visited many of our nation’s historically important sites. As a grade-schooler, I stood awestruck at the feet of Miss Liberty. The sight filled me with a national pride that “my” people welcomed everyone. It said so on the bronze plaque on the pedestal.  “The New Colossus Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Emma Lazarus Today, I am confused and upset by the hostility immigrants to the United States face. How did we go from welcoming to shunning and imprisoning immigrants? When I’m confused about something, I try to educate myself about that situation. This is the first of a series […]

Always Remember 9/11

Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001. Always remember 9/11. Terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City and into the Pentagon. A third plane crashed in Pennsylvania. Its passengers, aware of what had happened, fought back and sacrificed their lives.  First responders selflessly struggled against impossible odds to help survivors and evacuate those in danger. Many first responders lost their lives, too.  Thousands died that day. It was a day that changed America. Our sense of safety shattered. Our isolation from what happened overseas vanished. Time is Relentless Families were forever changed on that day. Witnesses near the Towers were also changed. Some have physical reminders—old injuries or chronic injuries from debris and dust.  Time has claimed some of those who watched the Towers crumple. For some eighteen years was a lifetime ago. They never saw that day. And unless the tragedies touched their families, they do not know or feel the solemness of the day.  Memory Fades The nation’s collective memory is fading.  Thousands died. It didn’t matter what color their skin, what religion they did or didn’t follow, or what their sexual preference was. They […]