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Is Freedom Truly Independence?

Having just celebrated the 4th of July, also known as the United States of America’s Independence Day, the day our founding fathers announced that we, the U.S. of A. to be “free and independent states.” I pondered the state of things and wonder is Freedom Truly Independence?

Let’s take a look at a couple of definitions…

Freedom: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

Independence: the fact or state of being independent.  Well that doesn’t help us much.  What does it mean to be independent?

Independent: free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority OR not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence.

Many people equate independence with freedom, but if I’m understanding it correctly that means we have no authority controlling us, so we can do whatever we want without anyone stopping us.   Hmm, I don’t think that is the case.   

Of course, the U.S. won its freedom from England, and our founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence.  Our early government officials also wrote the Constitution and The Bill of Rights.  Of course, various bills and amendments continue to be written into law as our culture dictates.

While we so have many rights protecting our personal freedoms, I would suggest that many of them are not without restraints.  In most cases, we can only take our freedom so far.  I mean, if everyone was allowed to do whatever they wanted without anyone stopping them, let’s be honest here…chaos would reign.

I’m not trying to get all political here.  I’m actually thinking more along the lines of values and morals.  It is my belief that if more people practiced “good values and morals” we may not need quite so many controls.  Okay, so define “good.” Right?  That’s rather like “define normal.”

I often say we should celebrate our uniqueness, so do I want everyone to be a perfect robot? Of course not.  Normal looks different to different people, so does good.  However, I would suggest that people who choose to practice good morals would all be in the same ballpark.  I have been taking a world religions class and you might be surprised at the number of religions who practice non-violence, charity, honoring others as opposed to self, etc.  I would classify those as good values and morals.

Wouldn’t you think if we the people practiced kindness, politeness, honesty, and loving our neighbor as ourselves we might actually be able to enjoy the freedom of our independence?

Just a thought.

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