Ms. Joplin might convince you that you have to give everything up in order to be free. Pat, concurs with his ideal of freedom. Reflecting on the two views show something similar; a regret held against giving someone up. Freedom is an increasingly complex concept. If one accepts freedom as lacking in responsibility it aligns with a common lamentation. This mourning is something many claim to cherish, fight for, and hold great pride toward. The end quest is the possession the “thing” that is freedom.
In the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights details what the citizens are free to do. Firstly, they are free to exercise any religious belief, extending to that freedom to what they say, what they print and even what they argue for urging the Government to address their concerns. Even these freedoms are not free as they must hold the caveat of peace and truth. The Bill of Rights protects these freedoms with another freedom; to have the individual States maintain the training and inventory of an armory. What happens if you wholly disagree with something someone says? The Bill of Rights gives you the freedom to peacefully debate the truth and or richesness of the topic. What then is the purpose of the second freedom? To protect the free State, to ensure as many sides of an altercation so all can be free to present their views without fear of jeopardy.
Hundreds of years ago these freedoms, these promises, and these rights were convened upon all citizens of the United States. For many of its citizens, America has not been true to the oath presented in the political agreement of 1789, even today. Within this contract of freedoms committed to all members of the union, an assurance that the people to which the Government has been unfaithful toward not only are free to push back against the Government but they are required to fight for their freedoms.
But what of laws? What is it called when a collection of people live without laws, or rules that are designed to govern the people? Is that freedom? No, that is not freedom, that is Anarchy. Governments, historically, have held a distinct purpose to govern the citizens, they create laws and rules that keep the people of the country safe. Why should the Government create these laws and rules? If it were not for the laws and rules the Government sets forth the citizens do not have the sense to progress in a civil manner. The Bill of Rights gives the citizens the freedom to check the sense of the Government.
Within the laws and rules, citizens also have the freedom to live. Even within these edicts the actions of the citizens can be foolhardy. Janice Joplin, a “flower-child” or hippie, felt free to break the law by damaging her body, at 27 she was free of life. I came up with a phrase about 20 years ago that illustrates the conflict described when the ignorance of someone living within the laws but not within sense leads to their misfortune: I have no sympathy for stupidity. However, freedom allows for the permission to be stupid. This can be celebrated in speech, media, and in protest. Furthermore, this is and should be protected by an organized group of its citizens.
Regardless of how you feel, how hard you have fought toward the American Dream, for your position in the world and career, or even as a soldier, once you suggest another should not be free to speak freely the freedom millions have died for, the freedom you fought for, the freedom you struggled for, because you are not willing to listen and consider is dead.
3 thoughts on “The Freedom of Sympathy”