We just celebrated the birth of our nation’s independence, the 4th of July. The United States of America adopted its Declaration of Independence 241 years ago. The significance of this cannot be overstated. This is all about freedom. But although the significance of our independence as a nation cannot be overrated, freedom can be. Too much freedom is, well, too much. The land of the free and the home of the brave need to be managed well or the freedoms we hold dear may be in jeopardy.
Freedom is a slippery slope. At this point in our country’s history, we seem to be more concerned about individual liberties than the collective good. At what point will we be able to sacrifice some individual liberties for the sake of the common good? The answer to this is not clear at all.
Just because we have the freedom to speak in a certain way does not mean that we should. We seem to be losing sense of right and wrong in regards to language in our society. I have been concerned for many years about the degradation of our language, speaking out against profanity, especially from the platform. I am afraid that battle is lost. Many people use profanity in everyday language, even people who we would not think would. While I am offended by it, I do not think that most people are; it has become so common place. But if speaking in this manner by adults in positions of power is acceptable, what are our children to think? I think our teenagers see this as a license to do likewise. Why would they not? And I must ask, is this the behavior we want in our children? And if not, then why do we continue to model this behavior to them? Have we forgotten that children learn what they live?
And what about our freedom to live and do as we please, even if doing so puts those we care the most about in jeopardy? Do we have a higher obligation to be our best selves, to live lives of honor, even when doing so isn’t easy? And who ever said our lives should be easy anyway? We seem to have forgotten the sacrifice and obligation part of being a member of society. Many people are more focused on pleasure than purpose. We seem to be losing our moral compass.
Freedom is always accompanied by sacrifice; nothing important is ever accomplished without it. Yet many seem to be more focused on doing what they think is best for them, without regard for how their choices affect others. The freedom to do what we want at times comes face to face with the facts of obligation.
As I write this the TV is on and the woman who is the featured artist is scantily clothed. Her talent is without question. I am curious; could she not dress more respectfully and still be viewed as the talent that she obviously is? Who decided that her attire is necessary for this audience? While she has the freedom to dress in this manner, does she need to?
Just because we can does not mean that we should.