Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Is Freedom?

"Let me begin by saying that I'm a lifelong fan of the American way of life, particularly the way of life and the rules that our founding fathers mapped out for us a couple of centuries ago. To me, these rules are where freedom really lies. America was born out of a revolution staged by smart and tough renegades and radicals. Guys like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and Samuel Adams are the quintessential American rebels, trouble makers and innovators who stayed loyal to one another and true to one single vision: freedom."
The above statement was made by Sonny Barger, one of the founders of the Hell's Angels motorcycle club. Funny how a man so steeped in controversy can be quoted for his views on freedom. However, I found it to be appropriate for this article.
So, what is this freedom that is talked about so heavily at times, yet whispered about at others? Is it an idea? A right? An obligation? I would like to inject my opinion into this discussion.
Freedom is an idea that we have the right to pursue. We are each born free, but that freedom is not ours to keep. It is something that we must constantly be striving for, a state of mind that must be exercised, and a battle to be fought.
Does having the right to speak your mind make you free? No, speaking your mind when you want/need to makes you free.
Does owning a firearm make you free? No, it does not. Using and training with that firearm makes you free.
Does storing and owning food and supplies make you free? Of course not. It's the will to keep it and use it that makes you free.
Freedom is an idea. The idea that a person can do what they want to when they want to, so long as it infringes on no other's freedom. Even an enslaved person can be free. Freedom of the mind is just as powerful, if not more so, than freedom of the body. If you can free your mind, then your body is open to follow.
I write this not to make some political statement, nor did I do it to stir up an argument. I merely wanted to get you to ask yourselves something. What does freedom really mean to you? I know what it means to me, and I will stand behind those beliefs 100%. I hope you find this thought provoking.