What does the word freedom mean to you? And does freedom come with responsibilities to others?
For me, freedom comes with responsibility.
Freedom means the right to think, speak, and live my truth while doing no harm.
I believe that our rights must be integrated with the rights of others as well as the responsibility to live as part of a greater whole. For me, that means living as a conscious citizen of my town, in one state of 50, in one country of 196, on one planet in one small solar system among the vast known universe.
I find this larger perspective helps me from getting too self-absorbed. As a former teacher once told us, “everything is important, yet nothing really matters in the long run”.
Alan Seal has this view on freedom and independence. ” I invite you to consider a different kind of independence this week as well. I invite you to declare your freedom from habitual beliefs and ways of thinking that may not serve you or a greater good any longer. I invite you to declare your independence from the “group mind” and consider for yourself what you think and believe about how life works. I invite you to expand beyond personal desires to consider what a “greater good” might look like in the world, and then to start living in service of that, whatever that might mean to you. I invite you to step into the shoes of someone with whom you have disagreements and expand your mind and heart beyond judgments of right and wrong, good and bad. Try this both with people in your personal circle as well as with people or public figures that you’ve never met. See what new discovery and understanding is waiting for you.”
Imagine a Global Independence Day that was about everyone setting themselves free from whatever holds them back from living their greatest potential in service of a greater good. Now that would be a day to celebrate!”
In this country we often behave as cranky children demanding our rights, often with no concern for others. We have forgotten the wise words of John F. Kennedy to ” ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country”. Currently in politics (and on Facebook too), we spend incredible amounts of time, money, and energy demonizing the “other”. Until we can integrate all people (talking and behaving as part of a larger whole), we will remain dysfunctional and ineffective in our politics, economic and environmental reforms. Maybe a good way to start is to remember that we are all on this spaceship called Earth together. Let’s take care of her, you, me, and each other to the best of our ability.
My vision for Independence Day is for everyone to behave as if we are all in this together. Let’s sit down and talk this out like neighbors and friends. Please remember to play nice like they told us in kindergarten. It’s time to create a shared vision for the country. Maybe a New Deal for the third millennium. One that recognizes our world citizenship.