The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow. Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Liberty without Learning is always in peril and Learning without Liberty is always in vain. Of course. That’s what people do in a disordered world, a world of freedom and choice: they leave when they want. They disappear, they come back, they leave again. And you are left to pick up the pieces on your own. The foolish who are trying to read the Second Amendment out of the Constitution by claiming it’s not an individual right or that it’s too much of a public safety hazard, don’t see the danger in the big picture. They’re courting disaster by encouraging others to use the same means to eliminate portions of the Constitution they don’t like. Freedom is the will to be responsible for ourselves. Everything is relative in this world, where change alone endures.
You say: I am not free. But I have raised and lowered my arm. Everyone understands that this illogical answer is an irrefutable proof of freedom. At first, man was enslaved by the gods. But he broke their chains. Then he was enslaved by the kings. But he broke their chains. He was enslaved by his birth, by his kin, by his race. But he broke their chains. He declared to all his brothers that a man has rights which neither god nor king nor other men can take away from him, no matter what their number, for his is the right of man, and there is no right on earth above this right. And he stood on the threshold of freedom for which the blood of the centuries behind him had been spilled. We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else. I only know that learning to believe in the power of my own words has been the most freeing experience of my life. It has brought me the most light. And isn’t that what a poem is? A lantern glowing in the dark.
It is when we think we can act like God, that all respect is lost, and I think this is the downfall of peace. We lie if we say we do not see color and culture and difference. We fool ourselves and cheat ourselves when we say that all of us are the same. We should not want to be the same as others and we should not want others to be the same as us. Rather, we ought to glory and shine in all of our differences, flaunting them fabulously for all to see! It is never a conformity that we need! We need not to conform! What we need is to burst out into all these beautiful colors. I have never thought, for my part, that man’s freedom consists in his being able to do whatever he wills, but that he should not, by any human power, be forced to do what is against his will. After all, if you run far enough, no one can catch you. The personality susceptible to the dream of limitless freedom is a personality also prone, should the dream ever sour, to misanthropy and rage. A man is as free as he chooses to make himself, never an atom freer.
Today only the person who no longer believes in a happy ending, only he/she who has consciously renounced it, is able to live. A happy century does not exist; but there are moments of happiness, and there is freedom in the moment. Within each of us is a light, awake, encoded in the fibers of our existence. Divine ecstasy is the totality of this marvelous creation experienced in the hearts of humanity. Man’s right to know, to learn, to inquire, to make bona fide errors, to investigate human emotions must, by all means, be safe, if the word “freedom” should ever be more than an empty political slogan. Someday, the realm of liberty and justice will encompass the planet. Freedom is not just the birthright of the few, it is the God-given right of all His children, in every country. It won’t come by conquest. It will come, because freedom is right and freedom works. It will come, because cooperation and good will among free people will carry the day. My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
Only a mind free of impediment is capable of grasping the chaotic beauty of the world. This is our greatest asset. Life’s trials will test you, and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are. The only real battle in life is between hanging on and letting go. We live in a world in which people are censured, demoted, imprisoned, beheaded, simply because they have opened their mouths, flapped their lips, and vibrated some air. Yes, those vibrations can make us feel sad or stupid or alienated. That’s the price of admission to the marketplace of ideas. Hateful, blasphemous, prejudiced, vulgar, rude, or ignorant remarks are the music of a free society, and the relentless patter of idiots is how we know we’re in one. When all the words in our public conversation are fair, good, and true, it’s time to make a run for the fence. You know, there are two good things in life, freedom of thought and freedom of action. .A man is nothing without dreams. A man is called idiot while he dreams. Whatever he does, he’ll be judged and thrown away from the circle of clowns. And yet he needs acceptance and security from sick society, which is discriminatory far too often. But a man is blinded by other people opinions. He wants to fly and they say, “You moron, you can’t do that, it’s forbidden, it’s stupid.” And a man gives up on his dreams.
When faith in our freedom gives way to fear of our freedom, silencing the minority view becomes the operative protocol.