Freedom means different things to different people.
For some freedom means knowing everything on the grocery shelf is safe, tested, and healthy; knowing the prices are standard; knowing the person packing the shelves is making a living wage. They are then free of the responsibility of deciding what to eat or where to shop, free of the obligation to research companies and retailers to find the best product at the best prices. But by forfeiting the responsibility for making healthy choices, they forfeit control. They are then beholden to the food manufactures and corporations to supply them with healthy food.
We all know what happens when the profit margin is better on junk food. Who hasn’t seen the ads for make-up, plastic surgery, soft drinks, and prescription drugs? Corporations are thinking of the bottom line, not our health.
When we ask the state to step in and require all foods to be healthy, we open the door for unscrupulous companies to buy the favor of politicians and regulators. Large companies squeeze out competition from start-up companies with the burden of over regulation. Often, those start-up companies could offer a better product at a lower cost.
For others freedom is the ability to choose a non-healthy snack. I don’t know about you, but I would really miss deep-fried donuts.
Some people wish to be free of the responsibility for their economic survival by asking the state to plan their retirement and provide their healthcare. They ask the government to negotiate wages and benefits for them and assure the wage negotiated will provide the employee with the latest in cell phone and flat screen without concerning themselves with the economic survival of the company.
Two hundred years ago, black workers in the south were free of the responsibility of insuring the plantation was successful and they were often free of the responsibility for hunting and preparing their own food, but no one would call them free.
For others, freedom is starting a new business without the burden of regulation costs that prevent them from hiring employees. Freedom for a high-school graduate might be the chance to learn an occupation by taking less pay.
Some people wish to be free of the burden of educating their children; free of the long hours required to research and teach. The public school system offers these people the freedom to pursue a career by minding their offspring for eight to ten hours a day.
But by giving education to the state, these parents have given up the control of what their child learns. Sometimes the child is taught to hate the morals and principals the parents grew up believing. The majority decides what lessons are important. At one time, children were taught that men like Eli Whitney and Henry Ford were heroes. Children aspired to be wealthy businessmen and women.
Hate is not a family value but it has become public policy. When children are taught to hate the wealthy and successful we find ourselves burning witches once again.
Our children are taught to embrace diversity as long as it isn’t religious diversity.
They are taught to embrace the diversity of skin color but never to mention it.
The history books are rewritten everyday and our children are taught to think alike and to fear those who think differently.
It is the ability to think, to reason, to conjecture, to believe that makes us human. To take away someone's right to choose what to believe is to take away their humanity. To take away their humanity is to make them a slave to the will of the majority.
If you truly believe in freedom, you will take responsibility for your own choices. You will own your mistakes and be rewarded for your achievements. More importantly, you will allow others to believe what they wish and learn from their own mistakes.
Freedom isn’t easy; it requires responsibility. Freedom from responsibility is slavery.
Responsibility is the price we pay for freedom.