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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Freedom: An Inside Job

Happy Fourth of July everyone.

In the 233 years since the Declaration of Independence a lot has changed. It is certainly a different world than the one which our forbears lived in when the forged and signed this document. Nonetheless the principles of freedom and human rights that they gave us still stand. Indeed, over the years these principles have been more deeply understood as we finally gave women the right to vote and defended the rights of people of all races to participate in the democratic process.

The freedoms mentioned above however are legislated freedoms. As necessary as are the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights we cannot follow them well if we do not have inner freedom. This freedom is often discovered when legal freedoms are lacking. This is the freedom discovered within by men and women all over the world who stand up to oppressive regimes even at the risk of imprisonment and loss of life. For those of us who have legal, external freedom it is at times our ability to not do something even though we have the legal right to do it.

I believe that this is a challenge for us in our society today. Many of us when challenged on our words and actions respond with, "It's a free country. I can do what I want." Oh! Just because we won't get thrown in jail (nor should we be) for uttering vulgarities in public, for insulting and disrespecting others instead of engaging in civil discourse when we disagree, does that make it OK? If we have inner freedom we understand the real freedom is choosing to do the good, to raise ourselves to a higher level, even though less than that it legally OK.

Enjoy the weekend everyone. Happy Fourth of July

PS. More YouTube video will be on the way. I won't be doing one every week though, just can't keep up with that. Also I'm working on improved quality of delivery. Thanks for all your feedback in that regard.

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