Instead of a Statue of Liberty
We Americans take our liberty seriously.
Liberty, for Americans is and always has been individual liberty—as in Patrick Henry’s pre-revolutionary war assertion ‘give me liberty or give me death.’
What if Mr. Henry had opted for Dignity or Responsibility instead of liberty?
Would that have stoked the imaginations of the masses and resonated with historians in the same way as liberty?
Hard to say, but I doubt it.
Dignity and Responsibility both imply constraints that involve commitments and consistency of behavior and standardization of values—in other words, limitations. Worst of all, they imply accountability.
Liberty on the other hand implies freedom from restraint and independence of action without any hint of accountability.
America could not be America without the notion of Liberty.
Dignity and Responsibility just don’t cut it in America.
More likely, Dignity and Responsibility don’t cut it with the human ego.
The notion of Liberty is likely wired into humanity’s hardware deeper than Dignity and Responsibility. Getting away with doing something you’re not supposed to do is irresistible.
Humanity will have to change dramatically to curb this instinct to any degree.
But that’s what we’re going to have to do to survive as a species.
We’ve got the potential, but do we have the will?
We aren’t there yet.
But, it’s finally becoming painfully obvious that the way we are doing things isn’t working for anyone but the people with money and power.
And even that is an illusion, but money is a powerful persuader.
So powerful, everyone is pursuing financial wealth as a means to Liberty and ignoring Dignity and Responsibility.
We have to change our minds. It applies to everyone equally.
We can’t let this continue.
We know how this story ends. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy that perpetually profits off misery.
We have to change our minds.
Why should we continue to perpetuate systems and societies that exploit people, the earth and future generations?
We’ve got to change the way we do things. To do that, we’ve got to change our minds. We’ve got to liberate our hearts.
It will take changing our minds so we can find the reasons to make better choices. It will take changing our minds so we can see consequences and their causes.
It will take changing our minds so we can see how we get in our own way.
It will take changing our minds so our minds are willing to work with our hearts instead of ignoring the wisdom inherent in our heart.
We must change on a fundamental level.
We must change on a massive scale.
We must change before we can no longer do it.
Obviously we need a miracle. If you want to attribute that miracle to God or to magic or to people working with the laws of nature, it doesn’t matter. We all still need to do our part.
It’s the least we can do.
Spread the word.
Let’s dream together.
Originally published @steverigell.com