Sunday, July 3, 2016

free to move about the cabin

Well, here we are. The Fourth of July weekend in the U.S. - full of sentiment, BBQ, Beer, and fireworks. We toss the word Freedom around and once in a while "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" shows up too.

Most of the time, mincing words annoys me. It shows up in debates as a way to control the debate and dominate, derail and generally disguise an intense need to be right over actually engaging in something that could be defined as a dialogue.

Maybe that's me at the moment. Mincing words.

Freedom and Liberty aren't the same thing. That much, wordsmiths agree on. Which definition goes with which word though, that seems up for debate.

Option 1

Freedom is a state of being capable of making decisions without external control.
Liberty, on the other hand, is  freedom which has been granted to a people by an external control.

Option 2

Liberty is an internal state reflecting an existential relationship with your capacity for agency.
Freedom indicates lack of physical constraint. Example? Spent a lot of time on a plane the last month..."you are now free to move about the cabin" - shuck the seat belt sister you have our permission to climb out of the little cage called your seat.

Because it makes my life easier at the moment, I'm going with Option 2.

Fourth of July celebrations are about both. But...

There's a sneaky little saboteur to your freedom and/or your liberty: scripts. While your tossing about the sparklers, have you thought much about your own thinking? What you believe? How did you come to believe it? If you haven't looked at all the things you believe, all the ideas you hold as truths, then how do you know if you have really chosen those thoughts/beliefs?

Simple test: how do you feel about "being on time"? Why? Where did that belief come from? If you think it's important...why? and how did you decide that it was important? Do you think people who are late are...what...rude? disorganized? inconsiderate? attention-seeking?  Hmmm. What if someone is late because their life is in havoc, or they were anxious about meeting you, or their kid bloodied a knee, or some smart-ass tried to own the road and caused a wreck right in front of them?

Sure, the cell phone belays the excuse of not letting you know - but (there's that word again), what do you believe about it? Do you choose that belief? Or was it chosen for you?

The more conscious we get about our scripts the more our ability to choose or reject them shifts from a hollographic possibility to concrete reality. The more scripts we consciously acknowledge, choose or reject, the more liberty and freedom we can actually claim.

This is no small thing and it seems to be remarkably absent in the masses across the U.S. at the moment when it comes to the decisions we are making about our freedoms and liberties.  Like the flight attendant's instructions to tighten my safety belt in turbulence, we seem to have cinched in on our willingness to think.

You are now free to move about your mind. Please do.

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