Freedom is Our Power, So Use it or Lose It

American society is at a historical crossroads. We now have the chance to rebuild our lives and communities; but only if we are left free from excessive corporate and federal government meddling. It is clear that the Bush administration has tried aggressively to take away our freedoms and control our behaviors. However, as Bob Marley it is time to “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds.” In this post I give you some well-tested strategies for regaining our personal and collective freedom. As always, I hope you enjoy the pix and cool quotes!!

Jefferson

Believe in Yourself First and Foremost!!

Questioning the status quo is the key to strong civil disobedience. Need to always question the authority figures in our lives now and especially those vampires that haunt us from the past. I always tell students that they should examine everything they have been told by their parents, preachers, and teachers. Keep and build on those ideas and behaviors that are working for your life. Get rid of the guilt, fear, greed, envy and those other nasty things.

We need to build many communities of caring and compassionate people. That is why I have also included the information about holistic healing. I am also learning lots more and practicing key Mental Strategies that foster Spiritual Strength. We need to widen the gaps between our thoughts ~~ since often our monkey mind dwells on the past or fears the future. In the gap between our thoughts we find JAH love and soul power.

Food For Thought = Don’t believe everything you think!!

Freedom Fighter

Keeping Our Minds Supple – Questioning Everything

A lot of people feel threatened if they feel they are being asked to question their cherished beliefs or their perception of reality. Yet questioning is what keeps our minds supple and strong. Simply settling on one way of seeing things and refusing to be open to other possibilities makes the mind rigid and generally creates a restrictive and uncomfortable atmosphere. We all know someone who refuses to budge on one or more issues, and we may have our own sacred cows that could use a little prodding. Being open-minded means that we are willing to question everything, including those things we take for granted.

A willingness to question everything, even things we are sure we are right about, can shake us out of complacency and reinvigorate our minds, opening us up to understanding people and perspectives that were alien to us before. This alone is good reason to remain inquisitive, no matter how much experience we have or how old we get. In the Zen tradition, this willingness to question is known as beginner’s mind, and it has a way of generating possibilities we couldn’t have seen from the point of view of knowing something with certainty.

The willingness to question everything doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t believe in anything at all, and it doesn’t mean we have to question every single thing in the world every minute of the day. It just means that we are humble enough to acknowledge how little we actually know about the mysterious universe we call home.

Nearly every revolutionary change in the history of human progress came about because someone questioned some time-honored belief or tradition and in doing so revealed a new truth, a new way of doing things, or a new standard for ethical and moral behavior. Just so, a commitment to staying open and inquisitive in our own individual lives can lead us to new personal revolutions and truths, truths that we will hopefully, for the sake of our growth, remain open to questioning.

Bob Marley Free Your Mind

Freedom is our Right and Responsibility

It is clear that American citizens must actively claim and assert our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is why it is so important that we elect Barack Obama. The key factor in life satisfaction (happiness) is freedom to live how we believe we should live. We need to take back control of our lives and country. For inspiration, you should study what great people have said about freedom and liberty.

Excerpts from State of the Union Address to Congress by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on January 6, 1941

In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first is freedom of speech and expression everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way– everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants –everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor –anywhere in the world.

That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. That kind of world is the very antithesis of the so-called “new order” of tyranny which the dictators seek to create with the crash of a bomb

Since the beginning of our American history we have been engaged in change, in a perpetual, peaceful revolution, a revolution which goes on steadily, quietly, adjusting itself to changing conditions without the concentration camp or the quicklime in the ditch. The world order which we seek is the cooperation of free countries, working together in a friendly, civilized society.

This gives you a sense of what a very caring and capable US president had to say on the brink of World War II. It seems that most of the problems relate to how one country or culture is restricting the freedom of its citizens or that of its neighbors. He also acknowledge the importance of remaining flexible and focused in times of great change.

As Americans, we have the right and responsibility to stand up for our freedoms. That is why I am so supportive and enthusiastic about the potential that Barack Obama has to unify our country. The Bush regime did more to limit these freedoms than any other administration in US history. We really have fallen behind citizens in many other countries. Here are some other cool quotes about freedom from a wide range of sources:

  • Albert Einstein: All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.
  • Barbara Ehrenreich: That’s free enterprise, friends: freedom to gamble, freedom to lose. And the great thing — the truly democratic thing about it — is that you don’t even have to be a player to lose.
  • C. Wright Mills: Freedom is not merely the opportunity to do as one pleases; neither is it merely the opportunity to choose between set alternatives. Freedom is, first of all, the chance to formulate the available choices, to argue over them — and then, the opportunity to choose.
  • Clarence Darrow: You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower: We seek peace, knowing that peace is the climate of freedom.
  • Edward R. Murrow: We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
  • H. L. Mencken: The average man does not want to be free. He simply wants to be safe.
  • Henry David Thoreau: Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also a prison.
  • James Baldwin: Freedom is not something that anybody can be given. Freedom is something people take, and people are as free as they want to be.
  • Jesse Jackson: No one should negotiate their dreams. Dreams must be free to flee and fly high. No government, no legislature, has a right to limit your dreams. You should never agree to surrender your dreams.
  • John Adams: There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
  • John F. Kennedy: We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people
  • Marianne Williamson: And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
  • Mohandas K. Gandhi: Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err.
  • Molly Ivins: It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America.
  • Noam Chomsky: For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of ‘brainwashing under freedom’ to which we are subjected and which all too often we sere as willing or unwitting instruments.”
  • Patrick Henry: Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!
  • Ramsey Clark: A right is not what someone gives you; it’s what no one can take from you.Robert Frost: Freedom lies in being bold.
  • Rosa Luxemburg: Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for the one who thinks differently.
  • Thomas Jefferson: No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another, and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.
  • Thomas Jefferson: A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor and bread it has earned — this is the sum of good government.
  • William O. Douglas: Restriction of free thought and free speech is the most dangerous of all subversions. It is the one un-American act that could most easily defeat us.
Dude Abides
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Categories: Activism - Occupy, Happiness | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Freedom is Our Power, So Use it or Lose It

  1. hey–
    my most recent post (it’s protected, sorry) used the jefferson quote near the top of this entry. good stuff.

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