True freedom does not come cheap. It is not licentiousness as so many people today believe freedom is. True freedom or liberty requires and is inseparable from personal responsibility.
There are threats to individual liberty in society. That is why eternal or ongoing, continuous vigilance is needed to protect and sustain personal liberty in society. The chief threat to liberty through history has been government. One recalls the adage by Thomas Jefferson to the effect that “When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” Alas, it has always been so in human society. Free people need to seek a healthy balance and strive to avoid harmful extremes. The absence of government would be anarchy and chaos. (The anarchists’ dream is a destructive nightmare that must be rejected.) Government’s drive for power and control left unchecked produces totalitarian states where the citizens are not free, and the government is capricious, despotic and tyrannical (even when the state claims it is acting on behalf “of the people”).
The sun is taking away your life, each and every day as it traverses the sky overhead. That is how some people view the passage of time and of one’s life in this flawed world. Time is fleeting. It may not be of notice to long-lived stars and galaxies, but man is painfully aware of time and its unceasing, inexorable flow from the present moment into the past. One might say that time defines man – at the very least it is a limit, a constraint that he cannot avoid or get around while on Earth.
We individuals are like fragile bubbles of consciousness bursting and fading away after a brief moment in the sea of time. Whether you believe that consciousness continues on a spiritual plane of existence or not, you know that your time on this material plane is short. Thus, it is our individual responsibility to make the most of each moment in terms of living a constructive and loving life.
The sun may be thought of as taking away our life, but it also provides the energy necessary for life. Bear in mind that photosynthesis supports the base of the food chain. As well, physicists tell us that the heavy elements in our bodies were forged (fused) in the nuclear furnaces of now long dead stars.
The following pictures were taken in early February this year in Jaipur (northern India) at the Jantar Mantar.
. . . or rewriting the story . . .
Did you ever read a short story, novella or novel and wish the less than satisfying ending could have been different?! Some readers have been motivated to become writers themselves in reaction to experiencing such disappointing endings to stories.
What about our lives and how they have progressed seen in hindsight? We recall a line from a movie seen a while back on television. A young woman asked an older man what prior decisions or actions he would change in his life if he could make changes. He replied “Everything.” He would change everything in how he had lived his life.
Many people suffer in silence. Many individuals are hurting now, this very second.
Pain, sorrow, grief, regret, heartache, depression, remorse, guilt, anxiety, fear, despair, etc. Too often, persons keep these feelings to themselves, bottled up inside themselves invisible to others.
It may seem a trite remark, but it is poignantly true: That when you laugh, the world laughs with you. But, when you weep, you weep alone.
Life is what you make it, or are you what life has made you?
We often hear the saying “life is what you make it”. While we can make our life what we want it to be to a certain extent, the saying is rather simplistic, if not a half truth. We are all confronted with constraints, many of which we cannot change or remove from our lives. We have to learn to adapt to living with these onerous constraints. Consider the child who is born blind or with cerebral palsy, or the victim of an accident or of violence or war-time injury that maims or cripples or paralyzes his/her body. As well, we have to accept constraints upon our behavior and actions in society so that we are not incarcerated or placed in an institution for the mentally or psychologically ill. We confront limits each and every day in the struggle which is life. These limits serve to shape or influence our expectations.
Our experiences do indeed affect us greatly, especially the painful, trying experiences. Tragic, traumatic and painful experiences suffered through when one is young can and do leave rather lasting effects (scars) on us that we may not even be fully conscious of. These experiences shape our thinking, our view of the world perhaps more than we care to admit to ourselves.
Or, as the late Joseph Campbell (1904 – 1987) would say “awe before the mystery of being”.
Consider this mystery for a moment. Our pet cat is sitting behind me taking a bath (as we say when cats clean their fur with their course tongue). This behavior is hard wired (instinctual) in the cat’s small mammalian brain. Does the cat even “think” about it? This behavior may be automatic to cats similar to how we humans often forget the actions of tying our shoe laces or washing our hands and do these “automatically” so to speak as we are not fully conscious of doing these. (Animals do have a certain level of consciousness or sentience to be sure. It is a pity that they, too, must suffer in the struggle which is life.)
My point is how wonderful and awe-inspiring much of the world around us truly is if we briefly step back and look at it. We praise God for the beauty and mystery and majesty of His creation. God’s handiwork is revealed to us in a lowly animal’s routine behavior.
copyright 2017 – larrysmusings.com
Sometimes you do not reap the full measure of the rewards for your individual sacrifices and efforts. Or, we might say we do not enjoy all the fruits of our labors. Sometimes that falls to future generations.
We, the present generation, are reaping the rewards of the sacrifices of preceding generations. Since we cannot repay these now deceased individuals who made great sacrifices for us, we can at least “pay it forward” so that our children and grandchildren will benefit from our sacrifices, efforts and achievements. Whether our children (and their children) will fully appreciate, honor and value our sacrifices is not known.
Even though we cannot capture all the benefits of what we produce, we ought to still give of ourselves, and set a good example for those around us as we try constructively to build a better, more loving world. Let us be on guard against becoming overly selfish or self-centered.
copyright 2017 – larrysmusings.com
Mayor Ed Lee, mayor of San Francisco:
“It’s in our DNA” – is what you said of San Francisco’s commitment to sheltering and giving sanctuary to illegal aliens who make it to San Francisco.
My question for you is this: How will you make up the shortfall in the city’s operating budget each year when President Trump follows through on his promise to stop federal grant monies going to so-called sanctuary cities?