Freedom

Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.

Eleanor Roosevelt

Introduction

I have been broken-hearted by the scenes on cable news over the last few months. The scenes are of overflowing hospitals with no room left anywhere for dying patients and families overcome with grief from the sudden loss of their loved ones and the unceremonious ways they have had to say goodbye forever. I can’t watch footage of the long lines at food banks without empathizing with the experience of those who face hunger. It did not have to come to this, if things had been managed better. It did not have to come to this.

I did a quick, rough Google search. I am reeling from the numbers. As of January 17, 2021, there were 23,800,000 Covid-19 cases, 396,000 Covid-19 deaths and 12,600,000 people unemployed.

The Attack and the Attackers

Then, if 2020 hadn’t been bad enough, we’ve had to contend, in 2021, with the horror of the Capitol attacks. We really didn’t need this horror right now. Many of these attackers were not people trying to figure out how to put together a meal of just baked beans and toast or a packet of ramen. They weren’t preoccupied with how to pay their hospital bills. These terrorists seemed to be able to afford a flight cross country, accommodation even. They had and were wearing expensive merchandize. They were festive. At least, until they tried to infiltrate a sacred building of the People and then they became violent.

Freedom to Get Your Way

The investigation of the terrorist attack is just beginning. We are waiting for the full picture of the events that unfolded on January 6th to be revealed. But amidst all the information coming out is mind-boggling stuff. Like how the perpetrators are actually hiding behind Antifa instead of being truthful about whoever they actually are. That they were expecting to be pardoned, given slaps on wrists. One chap refused to eat and it seems was in need of organic food while being held for his crimes. Even certain congressional representatives hiding from attackers at the time of the dangerous incident threw tantrums. They did this because they were asked to wear masks because they were hidden in small enclosed spaces. They needed to mask up as a civic duty to their colleagues and to protect the less healthy in the room. They selfishly refused. As a result, subsequently, some particularly vulnerable members of Congress tested positive for Covid-19.

Feces was tracked all over the Capitol building and vandalism was rife. In the following days, some members of Congress refused to pass through metal detectors even though violent attacks had been launched in the Capitol just days before.

Freedom to Throw Tantrums

Why does it sound like there were some toddlers amongst the angry masses ? Why does it sound like they were being asked to eat their peas and in response were throwing giant temper tantrums? Were they screaming freedom? Were they saying that they had the freedom to do these things under the Constitution?

I think that among the masses were a bunch of privileged, entitled people who had never taken no for an answer, in their lives. There were those there who never needed to really struggle in their lives. Maybe they always had people to clean up after them. They had enablers. And somehow, their every setback was a major piece of drama imposed on those around them, like an abusive cloak. They are very much like high school bullies. They acted very much like the leader who inspires them.

Freedom and Responsibility

I wonder if they understand that freedom is paired with responsibility. Do they know that they had to be accountable and responsible for the very freedoms they brandished in our collective faces as we watched them through various forms of media?

Eleanor Roosevelt was right when she said that with freedom comes responsibility. She also said that for the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this responsibility is a frightening prospect.

So, like the rest of us, I am waiting for the investigations to unfold and for more facts to be revealed. I do not have all the facts before me. I am, however, just a little shocked that this cause is being manned and even led, by selfish people who won’t take actual responsibility for their actions and the resulting consequences. Are these people even real leaders? Responsibility, after all, is integral to the very freedoms they scream for.

boy in white polo shirt crying
Child screaming and throwing tantrum
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

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