Independence and Freedom
Independence has become synonymous with freedom. At first glance, it would seem independence is all about the individual, but these inalienable rights must be equally afforded to all. A deeper examination reveals that true freedom exists only when everyone is able to enjoy the same basic human rights. Our freedom and independence rests solely on the extent to which these human rights infringe on the rights of our fellows. We are only as free as the least free among us. Our freedom is intrinsically tied to one another.
Are we willing to curb our freedom so another can have the same opportunity as the next human being?
Are we truly free if our brothers and sisters are still inservitude?
Are we willing to stand up when another is denied the freedoms which we hold so scared?
Independence from oppression not from our fellows.
We exist together, equal and free.
“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.”
“If there breathe on earth a slave,
Are ye truly free and brave?
If ye do not feel the chain,
When it works a brother’s pain,
Are ye not base slaves indeed,
Slaves unworthy to be freed?”
~ James Russell Lowell
“Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free.”
~ John F. Kennedy