On a quiet Sunday in 2022, as the world continues to tear itself apart around us, it is easy to get entangled in the daily affairs and fears and disasters that are our common lot on this earth.
It helps, more often than not, to recall that this has all happened before: economic collapse and destruction. Wars and invasions and getting involved where we shouldn’t. New tyrannical enactments. Pandemics and plagues, famine and starvation.
BUT… we also know that “this too shall pass.” That however bad the “temporary duty” and however drear and deadly the place that we are sent, the places we must survive, there are places that are better – however long we need to wait.
And we also know that physical death comes to all… no matter how much we talk about saving lives, we know that someone missing the mark long ago, and our constant missing the target personally, all comes to a physical end. The universe itself is doomed. But we are immortal beings – and we can live forever with liberty – if we choose liberty now.
Or we can accept fear and worry and cowardice and live – and die – in slavery. Forever.
It is our choice.
So let us remember and imitate the courage and ambition and patience and striving of our forebearers. Consider these quotes:
Patrick Henry: It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, “Peace, peace” – but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!
Alan K. Simpson (Wyoming): There is no ‘slippery slope’ toward loss of liberty, only a long staircase where each step down must first be tolerated by the American people and their leaders.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau: I prefer liberty with danger to peace with slavery.
Bob Marley: Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life.
Major General John Stark (New Hampshire): Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.
Thomas Jefferson: I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.
Malcom X: A man who believes in freedom will do anything under the sun to acquire, or preserve his freedom.
Justice Louis Brandeis: Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government’s purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in the insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well meaning but without understanding.
Think on these things. Readers, feel free to share more quotes.