By: Troy Stover, FB Displays & Designs, Inc.
1: the quality or state of being independent.
As the sole military veteran at FBD2 (and one known to relish in pontificating for hours on any number of subjects), given the upcoming holiday, I was tasked with writing something in regards to independence. The only problem is that I don’t feel I have any better a grasp on the concept than anyone else. Oh, sure, I get the idea that with independence we’re free to vote for whom we want, free to worship the God of our choice, and free to marry whom we love (well, most of us, at any rate), but I tend to think that maybe there’s more to it than all that.
Initially going online in the hopes of discovering a deeper meaning behind the word – behind the concept, really – as can be seen by the above (Thanks a LOT, Merriam Webster.com), this exercise resulted in very little assistance to my cause, so I fear I’m just going to have to “wing it.”
I tend to think that Uncle Ben had it right, with the whole “with great power, comes great responsibility” speech he gave to Peter Parker. For the purpose of this article however, we’ll insert “freedom” for “power.” Because freedom is just that, power. It’s also a privilege, and a responsibility. One that may be given initially, but still needs to be earned and maintained.
I think Albert Einstein said it best when he stated, “For those who would joyously march in rank and file, they have already earned my contempt, for they were given a large brain by accident when a spinal chord would have sufficed.” A bit harsh? Maybe. But you see, Albert understood that the things of this world that are worth treasuring are also worth thinking about, fighting for, and working hard at. Also, they’re worth the effort of being handled with a sense of individual responsibility, versus simply waiting around for the “other guy.”
Another of my heroes, Joe Strummer, summed it up slightly differently when he said, “When you blame yourself, you learn from it. If you blame someone else, you don’t learn nothing, cause hey, it’s not your fault, it’s his fault, over there.” Now that’s not to say that we only learn from mistakes, but I think we would do well to keep personal responsibility at the forefront, to realize that freedom truly isn’t free (I’m not even going to attempt to look that little gem up, as I’m sure the internet has it attributed to Lincoln, Twain, Freeman, Takei AND Madonna).
I suppose my nutshelled point is this: as my children’s kindergarten teacher used to say (and I know it was her who said it, versus Madonna), “Every day, just do your personal best.” That is what independence is. That; is what freedom demands.
From all of us here at FBD2, thank you for your continued patronage and partnership. We hope that you and yours have a wonderful holiday, filled with freedom, peace, and your personal best.