Monday, May 2, 2016

(freedom) riders on the storm

I was considering and holding onto the idea of "Freedom" as a topic for a blog post.  Then, because of focusing on the word, or the idea, that phenomenon kicks in where, suddenly I noticed references to "freedom" Everywhere.  (Like when you buy a blue Cadillac, right away you start noticing blue Cadillacs everyplace you go...)

This weekend "freedom" kept jumping out at me, anything I read -- and I realized you could write MANY MANY blog posts or books etc., about people's various thoughts on freedom.

Last Monday I posted here the lyrics of the song, "Me And Bobby McGee."  Like so many fans, I've loved that song since I first heard it -- it just has that lovable sound -- a natural-born hit -- and the phrase "freedom's just another word - for - nothing left to lose..." sounds so right, in the song -- yet in life, I've never felt that way about the concept of "freedom." 

I always think of freedom as a good thing -- automatically a "higher good," if you will.  And probably similar to a lot of people, I only usually think about "freedom" in a symbolic, general way.  Like many Americans maybe I take it a little too much for granted.

(Our teachers in grade school used to warn us about that...taking it "for granted."  [When I was pretty little, I heard that phrase as "taken fer-granite"...]  Freedom was to be revered.  And respected.  And appreciated.  And lived up to.  [Man, post-World-War-II patriotism and idealism could be a bit exhausting -- ha!])

And when I say, "Post World War II" I mean the Sixties...the rolling cumulative social and societal impact of two mind-blowing world wars twenty years apart brought the mid-century movements for peace and a new world -- new ways of doing things, and cynicism clashed and mixed with idealistic optimism and determination...

People talked about "freedom" in the Sixties, and I remember my father, a Protestant minister, discussing people's enthusiasm for freedom and he would meet it with a question, "What is it they want, is it freedom to, or freedom from..." 

In the middle-class, middle-American context, the 'right answer' was going to be "freedom to," as in, freedom to do something constructive, carry out one's responsibilities in a good way...  "Freedom from," as my dad was referencing it, meant people who want, or think they want, "freedom From" the obligations of a civil society -- family, church, school, work...


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