Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Liberty is to Faction as Air is to Fire


Freedom and free thinking. Two things on which America was founded. The ability to pursue life, liberty and happiness all of our days.

But what is freedom? What does it mean to be free? Does it mean doing whatever you want whenever you want to? Is it some sort of system where everyone makes their own path as long as we don’t hurt anyone else? The sad truth is that such a freedom cannot and will not ever exist. Because each different person has a different idea of what happiness might be. Therefore what is one man’s happiness may well be another man’s horror.

No, such total freedom would only lead to anarchy of a sort not seen since the dark ages. For there are those whose idea of freedom involves taking everything you have and spreading it around to their friends…or just keeping it for themselves. I am sure the Viking raiders of the 800’s or the Muslim invaders of the 1200’s or the Mongol Horde of the 1400’s, or the Communist revolutionaries of the 1900’s all felt they were advancing their version of happiness, their ideal of freedom. But to those on whom it was being advanced, those on whom the single ideology of a foreign invader was being forced, it was most certainly not a recipe for joy. With their lands laid waste and their peoples slaughtered or enslaved, the other man’s idea of happiness was nothing like that which they had hoped to pursue. The destruction came when the other side was too weak to defend its ideals, or its borders. And those conquerors in time found themselves on the receiving end of the same fate they dealt to the previous inhabitants.

Whether you are conservative or liberal, always be aware that it is not in the destruction of the other side that you will find your peace. Happiness will not be discovered in enforcing your ideal way of living on your neighbors. It is rather in the balance of ideas, the place in between where the best of both sides come together not to make a compromise, but to make a society based on the what is best of both worlds.

There will always be at least two sides to every issue, usually many more sides than that. Be careful not to invest yourself too deeply in one side to the destruction or damage of the other. For it is in the balance of opposites that a boat stays afloat.

But there is a type of joy that every person can experience in a same way, and at the same time. The joy we find in being with people we love, in a place we call home, a place we feel at peace.

Of course if the other simply refuses to meet on common ground, or worse they just plain lied when they said they wanted to parley then the old warrior’s credo comes into play.

Pray for Peace, Prepare for War and only fight to win.

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