Lance Scranton: Yes, free!
Nothing is life is free! You hear it all the time. Whenever someone offers you something that seems too good to be true, it likely is.
Just last week I thought I was getting a really good deal on the internet until my wife discovered that I had signed up for some really expensive items that I had no idea I had agreed to purchase! Two canceled and two new credit cards later we finally resolved the issue. Free? Not likely, but now that I am banned from internet purchases for 90 days; I will be a bit more careful about how I shop.
Free and freedom are both words that mean many different things to people depending on the context and the particular situation. Free is one of the most overused words when it comes to all kinds of sales tactics and social issues. Selling things with a free offer usually means that you agree to some other kind of provisionary purchase that seems like it is okay because you are getting what you want for free! So, it really isn’t free but it sounds like it’s free; at least momentarily.
Our social values put freedom high on a pedestal to the point that we almost worship at the altar of pure and unrestrained freedom. Freedom to make our own decisions and do whatever we choose is enshrined in the value system of most of our citizenry. Even those who are not in our country legally take up the mantle of freedom when it comes to certain services and privileges that were designed to support social harmony.
Freedom is a powerful concept but is only as strong as its supportive arms and without their powerful supporting role; freedom doesn’t stand a chance. Armed with responsibility and consequence, the strength of freedom can endure. Freedom is fun and attractive and offers to forgo the constraints of responsibility. But in the end, strong arms make freedom possible.
Sure, the freedom to do what you please has an attractive quality until our decisions bring about natural consequences. We have never been free from responsibility and consequence, but people will try to use freedom to avoid these at all costs. This is really just radical individualism dressed up as the virtuousness of freedom without the cost. We all agree that freedom is important, but as we celebrate our country’s freedom this week; let’s remember just how much freedom cost, it demands responsibility, and it always comes with consequences.
Enjoy our free day on July 4, but remember what is required and our personal responsibility to keep our freedom.
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