On this July Fourth, to commemorate the actions of those revolutionaries who eloquently proclaimed the separation of the Thirteen Colonies from Great Britain as set forth in the Declaration of Independence, we recall the legacy of liberty we inherent and recommit to honor their actions by striving to realize freedom in all our affairs.
Realizing or rediscovering, sustaining and promoting freedom is a process that is cyclicly reoccurring and always begins with the awareness similar to what William Faulkner states:
We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.
In order to realize one’s inherent freedom, one must discover their inherent ability that will be the antidote to doubt which acts as the golden fetters denying our liberty, or as Ralph Ellison stated more succinctly:
When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.
But as Franklin D. Roosevelt’s forewarns, we cannot expect freedom to come from somewhere else:
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.
For which Friedrich Nietzsche adds:
Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves.
Though as Gloria Steinem cautions that the path to freedom is fraught with difficulty:
The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.
Yet, enduring the pains of discovering our true nature, then we can summon the will to act or as Coco Chanel describes:
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
Then, we can emancipate our soul which Bill Moyers states pithily is:
Freedom begins the moment you realize someone else has been writing your story and it’s time you took the pen from his hand and started writing it yourself.
Or as John F. Kennedy states, we risk further imprisonment:
Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
If we are able to sustain our “God-given” liberty or rediscover anew, then we must follow the edict stated so eloquently by Robert Frost:
Freedom lies in being bold.
Or the guidance of Mark Twain:
A discriminating irreverence is the creator and protector of human liberty.
Once freedom obtained, it cannot become a commodity easily traded for the illusion of consistency and permanence because as Benjamin Franklin warns:
They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Once one’s inherent freedom is realized then there is no choice but to defend the rights of others to be free as Nelson Mandela, who preached only what he practiced, advised:
For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
I close by wishing everyone a Happy Fourth of July and state my commitment to sustain and rediscover my own freedom, and protect that freedom by humbly trying to follow the advice of the statesman and Founding Father, James Madison who said:
The advancement and diffusion of knowledge is the only guardian of true liberty.