What a concept!!! I happen to be feeling especially free this morning. No major book deals pending, the editing completed on my next novel THE POWER OF THE TWELVE, no new book yet initiated, the details of the coordination of the Eco-Sustainability conference in China completed, my speech for the conference completed. This is a rare morning of beauty, sunshine and calm in which I feel totally free. Even my golf game has been reflecting my new sense of freedom with freer swinging drives going further than usual and putts dropping in with three consecutive rounds well under my normal handicap. Freedom, Freedom, Freedom.
Of course this is a descriptive of a kind of mental freedom which does not address the greater significance of the concept of freedom, upon which our wonderful country is based.
This week it has been impossible to ignore the tragedy in Boston. We are still learning about the brothers who perpetuated this atrocity. We can only assume that for whatever reason the perpetuators did not feel a sense of inner freedom. I cannot imagine anyone who feels free would ever choose such heinous behavior.
This week I am babysitting my son’s cat Bijou. Bijou is an elegant animal whose tail is always up in the air six inches above her body as she prances proudly about. Bijou gives off an air of freedom, if not superiority, to all she encounters. And yet Bijou is not truly free. As a house cat we are not comfortable letting her outside where she might be run over by a car or come up against an unleashed dog or just get lost in what is for her an unfamiliar neighborhood. No, Bijou is restricted to our home and not free to roam.
The wonderful quality of freedom is that those who feel free create a sense of freedom for others. None of us can be truly free unless all of us are free. This is why ultimately slavery was abolished. True freedom requires the free flow of ideas, open commerce, and ongoing innovation. These are fundamental to a free society for freedom is not just freedom from oppression but freedom to pursue happiness and that pursuit of happiness must include not only the freedom of expression but the freedom to experiment and fail. As individuals and as a country we often fail but a wonderful American characteristic is that even when we fail we learn from our failures, get up and try again. Freedom does not require perfect behavior or ideal results from the exercise of our freedoms. Freedom does require a commitment to courage. Freedom also requires a healthy appreciation and sense of gratitude to those who throughout the last two hundred and fifty years have been willing to sacrifice their own lives to protect our freedoms. Waking up this morning to this glorious day I feel the magic of our country and a deep sense of gratitude to the millions who have gone before and instilled within us our love for freedom.