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Our own puddle of freedom

Our freedom is a fragile benefit of our democracy.  It was born out of the collective desire of a few brave souls to determine their own fate; a desire to “live free or die.”  They opposed the tyranny of a King and his restriction of those freedoms. 

The freedoms they fought to have restored were not suddenly lost over night. They were lost gradually, over time and in the name of maintaining order and peace.  The Revolution these men started was not the product of the majority; rather these men were clearly in the minority.  Most in colonial America were complacent, and unwilling to “rock the boat.”  The majority wanted to continue to live in their own little world of denial, and accept the gradual erosion of their freedoms in order to preserve their own view of their world. 

Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in a number of speeches before his death in 2001 described what a puddle of water might think of its existence if it could.  I find his metaphor quite appropriate and descriptive of the life of our freedom in our nation today.

“A puddle wakes up one morning and thinks: ‘This is a very interesting world I find myself in. It fits me very neatly. In fact it fits me so neatly… I mean really precise isn’t it?… It must have been made to have me in it.’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. – it’s still trapped in this idea that – that the hole was there for it. And if we think that the world is here for us we will continue to destroy it in the way that we have been destroying it, because we think that we can do no harm.”

Douglas Adams

I think this may be something we need to watch out for.