Freedom’s Foundation

Principles are often debated, (and sometimes thrown about in combat), without consideration for their foundation in reality.  How deeply do we think about principles?  When we choose to embrace a principle or lay claim to values, do we consider the meanings and interpretations with which each is understood by others?  Does this matter?

In the previous post I invited you to think realistically about the essential character of “truth” and the importance of truthfulness.  We all depend on our understanding of what is true or false to get through life.

Everyone thinks what they believe is reasonable and true.  Yet it is often apparent that our assumptions differ from those of others.  While we assume that our perceptions of truth are valid, we are often reminded that we have many differences with one another, sometimes slight, sometimes quite significant.

And we all live by principles, sometimes without even thinking about them.  Is it possible they can be influenced by inaccurate assumptions or untrustworthy influences?

If our perceptions of truth are influenced by tradition, or news sources, or social media—how do we know what ‘our truth’ is really made of? How do we judge the foundations for our beliefs—the knowledge and reasoning that supports certainty?  The human world embraces innumerable personal truths!

So, what does this tell us about the reality of truth?  Is it possible there is actually a single foundational truth—a foundation for what is real?

Surely none of us can lay claim to understanding such a fundamental truth, yet it most assuredly must exist.  The world of existence could not function without such a unity.

One principle that matters to all of us is freedom, a principle that often seems elusive.  Realistically, life’s many obstacles and constraints can be oppressive. Yet, freedom is a deeply valued principle.  And so, we choose to respond to life’s constraints with maturity and self-control.

There are many principles we cherish despite their challenges.  Honesty, civility, and generosity of spirit are among the most essential for living and working with others. These may not be ‘rules’ in the usual sense, but they represent values we cannot do without.  They lead to trust, and a genuine freedom that rises above limitations and hardship.

When the horizon is darkened; when safety and trust are threatened by chaotic and unpredictable conditions, we can always turn to fundamentals—to patience, forbearance, dependability, cooperation, and most of all, to truthfulness.

Some folks think organized cooperation is impossible.  But it will be impossible to ensure safety or meet basic needs if our differences prohibit collaboration.

Yes, there will always be some people who are afflicted by selfishness and arrogance.  But the future depends on the character of true Americans—a people who have risen to their tests for many generations.

Americans are smart, resilient, and creative.  In the difficult years ahead, I expect we will gain a deeper understanding of freedom.  We will respond with a maturity gained through hardship and necessity.

We live in a reality defined by limitation and challenges.

All form has structural limits and all limits provide the means for leverage.  It is the consistent dependability of this reality that allows us to launch ourselves into new frontiers of learning and experience, to control the direction of our efforts, to instigate, organize, create.  

Without the constraints of necessity we would have no capacity to direct our energy and intelligence, to explore new ideas or undertake new ventures.

Our ability to exercise discipline overcomes the limitations imposed by nature and society.  And the discipline to leverage inspiration against the constraints we encounter in life provides the power to actualize our freedom and transcend the difficulties in life.

We cannot leap without a firm foundation beneath our feet.  We cannot fly without wings.

It is in the encounter between discipline and necessity that we find the ground of freedom.


Please look for the next post on or about June 2.

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1 thought on “Freedom’s Foundation

  1. I believe truth to be subjective. I also believe that principles are influenced by our perception of truth. Some people have a broad definition of freedom.

    When freedom is considered from a selfish or arrogant point of view, people believe & behave in a way that infringes on the rights & freedom of people around them. One person’s freedom to smoke affects the rights & freedom of those around them who believe they should have the freedom to exist in a smoke free environment.

    During a Pandemic, such as Covid, some people believe that they are entitled to not follow the guidance provided by Scientists & Healthcare providers. Those people refuse to wear a mask when they go out in public because they believe, they have the right to do as they please. They don’t want to wear a mask to protect themselves & others. Should they have the freedom to go out in public without a mask, not knowing if they have Covid & can spread it to others?

    Where does an individual’s right to freedom become an infringement on someone else’s right to freedom? Shouldn’t those who go out in public during a Pandemic have the right not to be exposed to the other person’s infected breath?

    Freedom for the individual is a tricky situation particularly when it infringes on the rights or freedom of those around them.

    Freedom of the individual & freedom of the others around them may cause conflict in certain situations. These are issues that require conversations with people of opposing views in order to reach a definition of freedom that works in different situations.

    None of us exists in a bubble. Our choices & behavior will have an affect on those around us. Our maturity & self control will be an important part of finding common ground in any given situation.

    This was a very well presented & thought inspiring post as was the previous one regarding truth.


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