Liberty, even when it allows for the foolishness of mankind to flourish, is better than bondage.
We must be cautious not to forget that personal liberty should not come at the cost of the liberty of another. The wise understands that liberty, responsibility, and compassion are intrinsically intertwined. Without all three, it is easy for liberty to become nothing more than a mask for self-interest, greed, and apathy.
Once liberty loses its meaning due to the foolishness of mankind, it becomes easier to convince the unwise to give up liberty in hopes of preventing the sorrow generated by foolish behavior.
Rather than rejecting liberty, it is better that we learn to find joy even when surrounded by the sorrow mankind generates through its foolishness. Liberty with foolishness and sorrow will always be better than bondage.
Embracing the good things of the past does not require for us to embrace the less good things as well. It is possible to cherish the good, and leave the bad as a remnant to gather dust rather than a relic to invite worship.
Learn from History rather than Ingest the Myth
It is not erasing history or rewriting history when we acknowledge that history if full of imperfect people. Nor is it protecting history when we whitewash over the sorrowful things imperfect people did or wrote before better practices and choices were available.
What we should strive not to do is to celebrate the bad as well as the good. We should carefully evaluate what history teaches rather than simply ingest the tale that we call history.
Oh the wonderful things my daughter says. We were having a very intense (pleasant, not contentious) discussion on a topic both confounding and current, when she summed up the situation in fabulous fiber artist form.
“It may be called a Cashmere Rabbit, but that doesn’t make it cashmere.”
While a person can sign up for hazardous service in the military, police force, or other the other various service professions where life may be placed at risk, they cannot sign up to be the ones to die during a pandemic. The very notion that people could sacrifice themselves in such a way is ridiculous. Statements of this nature* promote the appalling belief that the vulnerable are expendable.
The vulnerable are not expendable. They are the ones we fight for, risk our lives for, and go to great lengths to defend from all harm.
*Texas Lt. Governor voices what many may feel, but what goes against the advice of experts.
Sometimes we live in a bubble. Truthfully, there are times when we need the bubble. Then there are times when we need the bubble to be popped so that we can see more of what is going on than we might be comfortable with on a daily basis.
It is easy to leave the work to others. It is easy to convince ourselves that if we focus on our own backyard, we need not trouble ourselves with the wider world. How often do we recognize the good work others are doing so that we can focus only on our backyard? Do we only notice these globally minded workers when they become embroiled in controversy? When we find ourselves at odds with one aspect of their work, do we condemn all the other good work?
Life is a set of scales, often comparing the positive and negative in our lives. We must evaluate the items tilting the scales in one direction or the other. Even if we need bubble time, we can’t forget that the scales will still need adjusting when the bubble pops. We should never allow our scales to tilt heavily in an unsettling direction due to the weight of unsavory choices made by others but defended due to our own desire to fit in.
Bubble time, the time to recharge and retreat from the fray, is occasionally necessary. Just don’t make that bubble so impenetrable that it won’t pop in time for your life scale to be adjusted before the negative side weighs you completely down.
I keep asking myself about the difference between Facebook and the old fashioned social world were I was always advised to choose my friends wisely. Guilt by association is a real thing in some societal circles.
Do we follow the same rules in a social media world? Do we remain Facebook friends with those we would never want to socialize with in person?
If we ignore behavior on Facebook, or things we find unsavory, are we enabling or validating the people with whom we associate any more or less than we do in the workplace, the school, the store, the neighborhood?
Unfollow, restrict, unfriend, block: the value of remaining FB friends versus the value of separation.
A nation’s success is dependent on its people having an understanding of what makes it successful. Authoritarian governments seek success through suppressing information, and through spreading misinformation. In a democratic republic where the people have the right to vote, it is vital for information to be shared and debated. Discourse, preferable civil discourse, is essential for national success. However, too many people, who enjoy the benefits of a democratic republic, seek to hide from discourse. For whatever reasons they may give, at the end of the day, they are seeking to hide from the very responsibility they have in the maintenance of their nation and its success.
It is interesting to see so many supporters of capitalism and small government cringe.
Capitalistic exploitation of cheap resources and labor has provided a stable livelihood for many who have never felt exploited because of the protections their grandfathers voted for when robber barons last ruled.
Realization that they have become this cheap labor causes worry to build among these supporters of small government. They realize that their livelihood is controlled, not just by the modern robber barons of their own nation, but by the robber barons of foreign nations.
They realize they might need protection from the government they believe is too big.