Freedom and Responsibility

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Recently, while reading The True Patriot, I was presented with an idea that resonated strongly with me: freedom comes with responsibility. Seems simple enough, I know, but I realized this disconnect with what I hear all around me is what I find so annoying in people (not all people, you’re cool) and politics.


Maybe I’m wrong, and I hope I am, but I hear more than I want to, “It’s a free country!” preceded or followed by some shitty behavior (like allowing the government to shut down). Yeah, it is a free country, and because of that, we have a responsibility not to abuse that freedom and instead work to maintain it. I recognize this is where the debate starts: how exactly do we do that?


I’m not sure, but I don’t believe we do it by behaving like children and refusing to compromise about anything. I’ve held this uncompromising belief in the past, and some would say not “sticking to one’s guns” leads only to a continual degradation of rights. There are times to stand strong, but without compromise, continual war is all we can reasonably expect.


Utopian? I don’t think so. I’m a little slow, but not so much as to believe all people will agree on any damn thing, but the majority of us, especially the ones chosen to make important daily decisions should be skilled at the art of compromise.


So next time you want to chuck a beer bottle through someone’s window and then drunkenly bellow, “It’s a free country!” or behave like a cowardly, anonymous jackass, spewing hate online behind the shield of free speech, take a moment, and remember that just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something. Be responsible with our freedom; help preserve it. Please. Profound sacrifices were made to obtain that freedom, so some minor sacrifices on our part are not unreasonable.





About Jeff Opfer

Jeff is a carpenter and freelance writer born and raised in the Reno area. View all posts by Jeff Opfer

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