Freedom

During my reading this morning I thought about an old Steve Martin movie. In this movie he is on the front porch of an old house down in the south. A black family is singing and dancing, and poor Steve Martin can’t keep time. He then begins to tell his story, about being born a poor little black child. During the movie Martin’s character becomes successful, representing the American dream of if you work hard anyone can rise above humble beginnings.

My life has never been too difficult. This doesn’t mean that everything has been easy; it just means that I have always had enough to get by. Growing up as a child my Dad always had a job, and when he and my mom got a divorce, she was working and making good money. We lived simply and always had food on the table.

When I became an adult, married, and had children I always had a job. There was one time when I was out of work for a couple of months, but we made it. I had a great career at Boeing, and now have a second career teaching at Warner Pacific College. We have food on the table, a little money in the bank, and unless things tank badly, should be ok during retirement. If I ever retire!

The fact is this is what freedom is all about. And as William McGurn stated today in the WSJ, I believe in “the conviction that all men are created equal – and that wealth and progress would come to any society whose law and institutions upheld human liberty.” Freedom helps us to see opportunities and potential, instead of problems and heartache. Freedom is best experienced when our political and economic systems allow individual choice and responsibility. It is free people that have the ability to be innovative and find solutions to the many problems they are faced with.

I read something this morning that I had never read before. Robert McNamara, who was on Kennedy’s staff and had responsibility for the Vietnam War, looked at the poor as a menace, instead of “being seen as minds rather than mouths.” This seems to me the exact opposite of how those of us who are free should see the poor.

China is now the second largest economy in the world. How did they accomplish this? Through a new found level of freedom, moving away from Communism, to a hybrid of capitalism (Market and State). Economic growth did not come through a centrally planned event, but through the allowance of individual choice and the ability to own property.

My point is this! All of us have the ability to rise above our circumstances through hard work and opportunity. This comes from a system based in freedom. Political and Economic freedom allows us to do what we can to rise to new levels of human and economic potential. Because of this freedom we can fight for “inner-city children who are stuck in a rotten public school,” and we can “champion for the guy who scrapes and saves for the hot dog stand only to have some pol try to force him out for something more chic.” In other words we can use innovation and creativity to deal with our problems. Because we are free, we do not have to rely on trickle-down government to take care of us, we can take care of ourselves and become something.

Hurray for Freedom!

And that is my thought for the day!

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