It seems appropriate, as we look straight into the face of our country's hard-earned liberty this weekend, that we evaluate the difference between free and entitled.
Free - Not controlled by obligation or the will of another
Entitled - Qualified for or allowed or worthy of being chosen
It's a fine line, to be sure. Let's be honest: One is what we have - a life full of national choice, individual liberty, and options for happiness. The other is what we want - comfort, abundance, insulation, adulation.
Somehow the term "inalienable right" from our constitution has come to mean "anything we please:"
The right to carry a gun into a crowded event, where we might be met with opinions other than ours.
The right to broadcast lies and hate-laced tirades in the name free speech.
The right to pay, shove, and kill our way to power.
The right to consume most of the world's food resources.
The right to squander much of the world's clean water resources.
The right to destroy the coastal waters of the Southwestern United States in the name of gasoline and styrofoam.
The right to look at a world in dire need and say, "too bad for you. I have mine."
It reminds me of the pizza my sister found at a grocery in Holland a couple of weeks ago.
Not really that funny, is it?
No one will choke up faster than I will Sunday evening as the Star Spangled Banner is played and fireworks fill the night sky here in Austin. The stirred emotion will not come without the sure awareness that we are Big Americans.
But if we don't do right by our freedom, we're going to look a lot like a Dutch pizza: "crispy outside...soft inside."
O say can you see? To whom much is given, much is required.
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