Friday, July 2, 2010

Freedom, Responsibility and Bravery

I'm taking a break from chocolate today. In honor of Independence Day, I thought I’d talk a little bit about freedom. I think some people have gotten confused about freedom, about independence. Some people seem to think that freedom means a lack of responsibility. True freedom means total responsibility. You are completely responsible for you. That is freedom.

You can decide if you want to go to work or if you want to starve. You can decide to hold out for the dream job or take whatever someone will pay you to do.

You can decide to have 10 children or you can decide to have no children.

You can decide to spend more money than you earn or you can decide to live within your means.

You can decide to go to church or you can decide to stay home.

You can decide to diet or decide not to. You are completely in control of what you eat or drink or smoke or inject.

You can decide to get married, decide to stay married, decide to cheat on your spouse, decide to divorce, decide to stay single.

This list could go on forever, but I think you see my point. Stop acting like all these things just happen to you – that you didn’t make decisions that led to where you are today. Now don’t get me wrong, I know some people have lost their jobs due to no fault of their own, the economy is terrible. But if you are free (and you are), you get to decide what to do with that.

Will you get training for a different job? Will you accept less money or prestige? Will you dramatically scale back your lifestyle? Will you apply for government aid and just give up? You get to choose, you are free.

But realize that the minute you start handing responsibility for your life over to someone else, you lose some of your freedom. You don’t get to decide what your kids will be served at school if someone else is paying for it and preparing it. You want to decide? Pack their lunch. Take responsibility.

I live in a townhome community. I can’t paint my house purple, we have rules everyone must follow. I have given up some of my freedom in exchange for not doing yard work. I’m not saying never give up any of your freedom, I’m saying know when you’re giving it up and what you’re trading it for. Stop demanding freedom when you won’t take the accompanying responsibility.

American is the land of the free and the home of the brave – because true freedom requires bravery. The bravery required for you to stand up and admit that you and you alone are responsible for your life. Are you brave?


Kris, in New England said...

Our founding fathers committed high treason, risking everything including their lives, to give us the rights we so often take for granted. Being American is a great responsibility - for you are right, freedom is hard work.

The most rewarding hard work their is.

Happy Independence Day all! We are 234 years young.

Denise Ryan said...

Great comment, Kris!! So easy to take our freedom for granted, isn't it? Here's to the U S of A!!! (And didn't I tell you we couldn't trust the Russians?) : )

DonnaInSussex said...

This is one of the best blog posts I've ever read. God Bless America - and I'm English!

Denise Ryan said...

Donna, you made my day! Glad you liked it - thanks so much for taking the time to post a comment. Here's to freedom AND responsibility! : )