Freedom is the founding doctrine of these United States, the call to bear arms, the fuel for unequaled inspiration in the battle for and against those we would deny it.
Today is Memorial Day, a day we honor those who’ve served and sacrificed—who have given their lives so that you, and others, may live free. We do not diminish the individual by arguing the merit or politics of every battle but celebrate the one who fought for, and in defense of, freedom.
Freedom. The very fact that so many men and women have died in the name of freedom speaks to it’s preciousness. It is to be respected, coveted, appreciated. And to do this, we must know what freedom means to us personally—to you, to me.
For if men and women have died for political freedom, so that you and I could enjoy the freedom to throw away our personal freedom, becoming prisoners of habits and addictions, losing our Strength, vitality and health; how have we honored those who paid the ultimate sacrifice?
Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. ~ Ronald Reagan
We have been granted freedom by generations of brave warriors, many who have who died. And in return we pop a cold one, turn on a game and zone out of life.
So, on this day I ask you….
How Do You Define Freedom?
For many, the freedom to eat and drink what, and as much as their heart desires, is the ultimate every day freedom. For others freedom is celebrated in movement, health, vitality and strength; in running the marathon, climbing the mountain, the hoisting of iron bells.
Some feel their freedom is in the eat, the drink, the joy of the now at the price of tomorrow. Others live freedom in the health and vitality of motion.
Perhaps both. But one not more right, but a higher order of right, for it’s inclusive of the other. For the freedom to eat and drink as “I want” can only be a freedom if you can also can just as easily NOT do it.
And at some point, the freedom of today, the mindlessness required to feed only desire, will exact the price of your health, your energy, your Strength. And one can not argue that to lose freedom of movement—and eventually one’s life—is a greater loss of freedom than the freedom to indulge pleasure.
Just as the freedom not to exercise my body is seen by some as an expression of freedom; so is powerful, intentional training of your body in the service of freedom that can only be given in a strong, vital, energized body. This, the “higher freedom” both pays respect to the freedoms given and elevates the whole.
We tend to think what we do doesn’t matter, that we are insignificant in the vast numbers. Nonsense. What you do, or don’t do matters. Freedom is not given if not received. Choose to live your life as a living tribute to freedom, from the inside out.
For the freedom begins with you. If you, if we, do not show the vitality, respect and desire—if we do not maintain a quality of life worth fighting for, the final freedom we loose will be on the global scale for who would be inspired to fight for a people who had already given up, who shows no desire to live a life worth fighting for.
Freedom is not given. Freedom must be nourished, fueled like flame, in the seemingly small moments, in the quiet when no one is looking.
How are you nourishing your freedom today?
Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits. ~Thomas Jefferson