During the long political campaign for a new president of this country, I became a sort of news junkie listening to all of the speeches, which began with dozens of candidates seeking the office of power.
I kept listening to hear one of them talk about freedom, but no one ever did, except one. And that was Sara Palin, the governor of Alaska, running on the Republican ticket for Vice President. She did speak of her love of freedom and was the only one I heard mention it. After awhile, I noticed the absence of any mention of the word, and concluded it had become a taboo word.
After concluding it has become unfashionable to talk about it, I realized there’s a lot of confusion about its meaning. In my blog articles, I write more about the meaning of freedom than any other subject. I write about what it is. In this article, I will write about what it is not.
First off, freedom is not a government grant. It’s a state of being that cannot be legislated by politicians. It is a gift granted to us as an inalienable right by our creator.
It is not a commodity that can be bought and sold.
It is not a privilege . . . a privilege being a special or peculiar benefit, favor or advantage granted to some by other humans, but not to all. A privilege can be a civil or political grant, favoring some and excluding others. Freedom is not exclusive.
It is not an endowment. That is it is not a gift given to one by an individual or institution.
It is not a gift of unbridled power. Freedom is neither a gift nor grant that permits some to take from others that which does not belong to them.
It is not a permit. That is freedom does not permit one to take the life, liberty and property of another.
It is not a license. Freedom does not issue any particular license to anyone to claim power to take anything from others without the consent of the owner.
It is not a negative. Freedom is a positive state of being whereby one is responsible for his or her actions and consequences. It is not a negative state of forcing others to be responsible for irresponsibility.
It is not a debt. Freedom is not a debt we contracted for to be free. It is a gift we were endowed with from our creator at birth.
It is not a contract. When we were born as free human beings we received freedom as a gift from our creator. We made no contract with any other living being to have freedom.
It is neither force nor coercion. Freedom is the absence of force and coercion.
It is not control of others. Freedom is self-control and self-responsibility, not control of others and the life and property of that which does not belong to us.
So there you have it. A list of twelve things freedom is not.
However, as individuals living in a civilized society, we might freely enter into some of the above. Making a valid contract with another can be a positive and responsible act. Entering into a debt voluntarily can be a valid and positive act. There is nothing wrong with acceptance of a voluntary endowment and so on.
Some of these things one may be free to do on a voluntary basis, but they do not define freedom. They are acts one may or may not perform as a result of being free to do or not to do. It all boils down to a condition of self-responsibility and self-control. That is the criteria which defines freedom.
For example, if a person enters into a contractual agreement with another, then violates the terms of the agreement, this is not self-responsibility or self-control. It’s irresponsible trickery and deception.
Therefore, if we stop and think about it, and define for ourselves just what freedom is and what it is not, we will be in a better position to reclaim that which we have lost.
Despite the fact it is not a commodity one can buy or sell, I personally sometimes think of it as a commodity that is not for sale. When in essence, it’s a state of being, thinking acting and doing according to this gift of freedom we received from our creator at birth.
None of us was born into a condition of slavery and bondage. That’s a condition perpetrated upon us by other human beings. If in fact it is a gift from our creator, we cannot truthfully say any of us were born into slavery and bondage. Either we were born with this free gift or we were not.
To make a claim any of us were born into slavery and bondage is a claim of powerlessness. And simply not true as evidenced by our ability to be responsible, self-controlled human beings as a result of having the gift of life.
Let Freedom Ring!
From “The Freedom Lady.”