Today’s topic is something that I have become quite passionate about, over the past two order three years. I have always known that personal liberty was important, but never really grasped what it was. What is it? Can we grab it? Can it be given? I believe it can be taken away, though it is not something like a wine, that can be poured or consumed. I believe that the United States Constitution is the one document, written by man, that comes closest to separating and nailing down what and who can have personal liberty. No other governing document has given each human the level of control over their own lives.
What is personal liberty? It is the freedom for me to do as I see fit. Simple acts, such as planting a flower bed, painting a house, carrying a loaded firearm on my person, or growing my own produce. Not having the city, county, state or federal government tell me that I can’t do something because someone, somewhere, could not act like an adult and has “justified” the taking away of my liberty. It has been said that you have the right to swing your fists as hard and as wildly as you like. You can make yourself dizzy swinging around and around. Where that right ends is when your fist makes contact with my nose.
This idea of personal liberty is not a new one. It was been around since the beginning of mankind. Though it is as old as humans, it has not always been available to all (and yes, I do believe that there is a line that must be drawn in the sand, but we will leave that discussion for another day) As is stated in the Constitution, “We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator, with certain inalienable rights, that they are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Humans are not perfect and can “take back” laws and ideas. What i given to us and humans, not just a citizens of the United States, cannot be taken away. Unfortunately, there i only one governing document on this planet that actually states this, and allows it.
What is it that compels a person to insist that what another does must be done a certain way, or not done at all? Why is it ok for you to determine what is right, while I do not have the ability to determine that for myself?
One of the greatest features of personal liberty, is that it is not given, it “should” not be taken away. I say “should” because it is the truth. Liberty is personal, it is not given by any human or group of humans. It is “God given”. Whether your God is the father of Jesus Christ, Allah, or many gods, personal liberty comes from somewhere other then this earth.
The one caveat is that this liberty and freedom comes with a cost. We must always fight for it. We must always remember where our responsibilities are. Once we start forgetting that our freedoms are dependent on us recognizing them, they start to fade and will be taken away. Recognize your freedoms, hold onto them, and do not ever let go.
We all have it, we just all need to realize it… I will leave you with a quote from Ronald Regan, “freedom is never more then one generation away from extinction.”