What Does Freedom Require?
I rolled out of bed this morning—blurry-eyed because of the deep sleep I’d just enjoyed for the last eight hours. Wiping the sleep from my eyes, I realized that I had not slept eight straight hours in a long, long time. And the reason is—I’ve been working on some projects that required large blocks of time. I was grateful for rest.
Everyone reading this probably understands what I’m saying.
Great sleep is earned and appreciated via hard work. Parents who’ve just given birth to a baby appreciate sleep more than anyone. Right? They don’t take it for granted. It’s a gift…but it’s a gift they deserve after many sleepless nights with an infant.
Today we celebrate Independence Day in America. Millions will wave flags, grill hamburgers and enjoy fireworks tonight in commemoration of the freedom we won over two hundred years ago in the Revolutionary War. That freedom is little like good sleep. You don’t take it for granted when you know it’s earned. Those who know its price, appreciate it the most.
And the price for freedom is responsibility.
It’s been said over and over again. Freedom isn’t free. The reason we can enjoy freedom is because someone was responsible. Leaders led. People worked. Soldiers fought. Many died. Freedom came with a price. I believe the best way to summarize that price in a word is responsibility. Freedom and responsibility always go together
Any kid who enjoys the freedom of a car, a smart phone, name-brand clothes and some cash…without any responsibility with those freedoms will likely end up being a brat. Do you know anyone like that? Freedom minus responsibility equals entitlement. That doesn’t make for a great country. The reason the Declaration of Independence worked is because we knew we’d handle independence responsibly. At least in the beginning, we did. The reason our Constitution works is because we fully intended to handle the Bill or Rights responsibly. But all the freedom we gained doesn’t work with irresponsible people. In fact, that’s why we need thousands more laws written up and passed every year. Irresponsible people need more laws. Responsible people need very few.
Today—I see too many people who want the perks of freedom without the price. It’s time we pay for our freedom.
Happy Fourth of July! Hope your celebration is great.