Can’t help but be thoughtful today about freedom and government. Today marks US Independence Day, commemorating the moment when the colonies shook off King George III and declared their independence.
“Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” the declaration tells us, are “unalienable Rights,” and that “to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
And here we are, 245 years later, now with firsthand experience of a noun that shouldn’t really be in a democratic lexicon, “lockdown.” Now, in a time when we have somehow adjusted to government/corporate censorship of individual voices and information, and, especially of late, the labelling of dissenting views as “extremist.” Now, when our personal information, communication, medical choices, and whereabouts are tracked on an epic scale. Now, when the sudden bombing of a distant nation, also holding people with unalienable rights, barely registers, and when information is suppressed, withheld, or manipulated by what was once known as a free press. Now, when taxes are siphoned from the masses and put to pockets and purposes perhaps not quite in keeping with the notion that “all men are created equal,” as the declaration noted.
But such things happen dependent on the consent of the governed and on the tax dollars of said governed. It is with the forbearance of the people that malfeasance blossoms.
Just like other animals, each one affirming Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness, we need to be present, alert, and protective of those unalienable rights. It is on us to actively pursue and empower leadership that supports and implements our rights and the vision we hold for our free country and world. And, in that respect, each one of us must be a leader, awake to and informed by our innately compassionate hearts.