Our Right to Liberty

Our Right to Liberty

By J.Lynne Moore

“The love of liberty is the love of others; the love of power is the love of ourselves.

(1778 – 1830)” ― William Hazlitt

No Prisoner be

By Emily Dickenson

No Prisoner be —

Where Liberty —

Himself — abide with Thee –

“With Liberty and Justice for All”, these are the closing words of the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America.  When Americans take this pledge, they are stating that they believe that liberty is one of the basic rights of every American.  In truth, we believe it is the right of every human, to be free to chase after liberty and to live within it.

“What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man.”  ― Robert G. Ingersoll

Liberty is one of those words that has different meanings for different people.  Some people interpret it to mean anarchy; that liberty allows you to do whatever you want.  Others believe that liberties are only afforded to you by a government entity, only allowing people a set amount of rights and freedoms.  In reality, true liberty lies in the middle.  If everyone is allowed to define liberty on their own terms chaos will be allowed to rein.  However, we do in most cases need a form of sovereign government in place to ensure that liberties are not infringed upon by individuals or other nations.

The Old Stoic

By Emily Bronte

Riches I hold in light esteem,

And love I laugh to scorn;

And lust of fame was but a dream

That vanish’d with the morn:

 

And if I pray, the only prayer

That moves my lips for me

Is, “Leave the heart that now I bear,

And give me liberty!”

 

Yes, as my swift days near their goal,

‘Tis all that I implore:

In life and death a chainless soul,

With courage to endure

 

Liberty must be tempered with respect, virtue, and responsibility if it is to blossom. To this very subject Daniel Webster said, “A country cannot subsist well without liberty, nor liberty without virtue.”  We must respect the rights and liberties of other individuals even if our own beliefs and views are not the same.  We must agree that there are basic human virtues that transcend race, religion, sexuality and all else, i.e. murder is wrong.  We must also take responsibility for ourselves and make sure our actions do not infringe on other’s liberties.  As George Bernard Shaw put it in his play, Man and Superman, “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”  We in turn should be able to expect others to show us the same respect as we take responsibility for our actions.  There is some middle ground here for all of us to stand on.  A platform of basic human values upon which we can all agree that will, in the end, afford us the blessings of living within the glorious harmony that liberty can provide.  In our Declaration of Independence there is a phrase that speaks to this:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence

Whether you believe in a Creator or not, it does not matter, every human being deserves these basic rights and of these three rights, it is Liberty that allows the other two to be achieved.

But we must remember, True liberty must be clothed in the garments of respect, virtue and responsibility, for if you strip them away, you are left with naked anarchy.

 

“What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man.”  ― Robert G. Ingersoll

 

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”

― Kahlil Gibran, The Vision: Reflections on the Way of the Soul

 

Liberty

Edward Thomas, 1878 – 1917

 

The last light has gone out of the world, except

This moonlight lying on the grass like frost

Beyond the brink of the tall elm’s shadow.

It is as if everything else had slept

Many an age, unforgotten and lost

The men that were, the things done, long ago,

All I have thought; and but the moon and I

Live yet and here stand idle over the grave

Where all is buried. Both have liberty

To dream what we could do if we were free

To do some thing we had desired long,

The moon and I. There’s none less free than who

Does nothing and has nothing else to do,

Being free only for what is not to his mind,

And nothing is to his mind. If every hour

Like this one passing that I have spent among

The wiser others when I have forgot

To wonder whether I was free or not,

Were piled before me, and not lost behind,

And I could take and carry them away

I should be rich; or if I had the power

To wipe out every one and not again

Regret, I should be rich to be so poor.

And yet I still am half in love with pain,

With what is imperfect, with both tears and mirth,

With things that have an end, with life and earth,

And this moon that leaves me dark within the door.

 

© 2016 -2017 Cashmere Illusions.blog /J.Lynne Moore All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

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