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VETERANS’ DAY – a Few Thoughts on Freedom

November 11, 2013

images[1]First … THANK YOU to everyone who has given up part of their life to serve our country and help preserve our freedom.

So often we complain about our country. We lament a political process that seems to have gone wrong, grouse about corruption and lack of fairness, about … I could go on, but I won’t. We all have our pet peeves about what’s wrong with America and we’re not shy about expressing them. That’s okay. We have the freedom to do that and that just may be our most important freedom.

Freedom of Speech is the freedom that keeps the others intact.

I grieve that we aren’t more respectful of opinions that differ from our own. I have to admit that I’m guilty of this myself. I say terrible things about people whom I’ve never met – all because they don’t agree with me about where America should go or how we should get there. I get so caught up in expressing my own opinions that I forget to listen to those who have contrary ideas. And, for that, I’m sorry. Really, really sorry. But I’ll probably continue to do it. Why? Because I have the freedom to do so.

This most important freedom is also the easiest to abuse and we do abuse it all too often. But, somehow, in the midst of all the shouting, we keep going, re-interpreting what freedom means and how government is supposed to work. The process can be uncomfortable, sometimes downright painful, but maybe the pains are necessary. Maybe they’re growing pains – and isn’t it good, after more than 200 years, to still be growing? This Sunday, after church, Pete and I were talking to someone who is active in local politics. We asked her what she thought of the election results. She said, “The voters always get it right.” I’m not sure I agree, but I admire her attitude, especially since I’m reasonably sure she didn’t support all the candidates who won.

My wish/hope for the world is that all people everywhere find freedom – in whatever form works for them, in whatever culture they live.


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