– I recently started to ask myself that question: How do you perceive and deal with liberty, if you were told your whole life who you are, who you are not and how you are suppose to live your life? I guess you’re lost, insecure. No limits, or broader ones, can mean liberty, but also disorientation. What you do in the end, is your own choice. You start learning to swim, start learning to set your own limits and borders. Or you give up and go back to your already known limitations and restrictions, back to where you are told what to do and what your limits are, back to where you cannot create your own. Reminds me of Benjamin Franklin’s quote „Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.“ But also I think one can take the idea of liberty too far. I wouldn’t want to give up on certain „social“ values, such as health insurance, just to name one. But overall, yes, absolutely agree!
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There are so many in this country today that just want to be told what to do, what to believe, how to act, how to react, what principles (or lack thereof) to live by, who to be angry at, who not to question… how to live. They don’t want to think. They don’t want to explore their own potential. They don’t want to become great. They just want to exist. What for? Living just to not be dead, is not living. They just want to be taken care of. But at the expense of freedom? H.L. Mencken said;
“The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.”
Why do men dread responsibility? Because they will have to live a life of their own choosing, with no one to blame but themselves if things don’t go exactly as planned. Why do men dread liberty? Because it requires them to live this type of life.
Liberty is freedom, freedom to think for ourselves and live our lives in accordance with our own rational thought. “Give me liberty or give me death!” This famous quote by Patrick Henry is an interesting one to ponder. At first hearing, one cannot help but be inspired by a man who sought liberty so desperately that he would rather have it than live a life without it. Because of this passion, this quote has been manipulated over time to apply to anything of personal value that a person desperately seeks or desires, such as “Give me convenience or give me death!” While this passion is certainly one part of what Henry intended when he made this statement, I think there is also a deeper and perhaps less obvious implication. It is an either or statement. It is either liberty OR death. Liberty entitles you to your life. Henry knew…
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