Sunday’s Wisdom #35: The Price of Freedom

“I know I’m asking a lot. The price of freedom is high, it always has been. It’s a price I’m willing to pay. And if I’m the only one, then so be it. But I’m willing to bet I’m not.”
-Steve Rogers
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

My country just had its two hundred and thirty-ninth birthday. On this day, my people declared the truth that no one has the inherent right to rule another. They declared that a man’s life was his own to do with whatever he wanted, so long as he allowed others the same. They declared that they would risk everything and pay any price, even their own lives, to be free. And they did pay the price.

Now, many people in my nation seem to have forgotten everything our Founding Fathers held dear enough to fight for. They seek the false safety of chains without having ever known the weight of them. Why? Because it’s difficult. It’s not an easy thing, to walk the path of freedom.

It doesn’t matter what era you’re in, it requires sacrifice. Sometimes more sacrifice than we can bear, more than we think is fair, more than we think we can afford. But what option is there? Only slavery.

Be it of the mind, body, heart, or soul, slavery is slavery, and slavery is the suffocation of all things that make us human and humane.

When such corruption creeps through our society, what are we to do? To quietly submit is to lose everything. Yet to defy, to stand tall and proud and free, often carries a price we are reluctant to pay, sometimes so severely disproportionate to our actions as to be ludicrous and absurd. That, unfortunately, is simply the price we pay. And no one can predict how steep that price may become.

Yet, if we do nothing, there is a price for that too: the agony of slavery, where every day is another death.

So the question is… what price will you pay for which action?

I’ve not had to answer that question myself. Not in truth, in deed, in putting my body where my mouth is, in risking my reputation or my financial future, or even my life. I’ve never truly risked anything, so of course it’s far too easy for me to talk, as I’ve never felt the fear other men, better men than I, have faced head on and overcome.

But I have hope, when the time comes, when I am asked, “Will you pay the price of freedom?” I might answer, unreservedly, “Yes.”

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