”On The Side Of Freedom” is the ninth in my 2022 series of articles based on my real life experiences, professional insights, personal views and fun stories. My hope is that in them you find joy and inspiration.
“Freedom!” cried William Wallace … or was it Mel Gibson? No sweat, it's the sentiment which matters. And 'Freedom' matters a lot to me. In fact it's central to my very existence. The urge, no, the need to be free resides at my very core. It has always been so.
The place, the time, the culture in which I was raised demanded that a free spirit burn within all of its sons and daughters. No one was excused. From early childhood, through formative youth, adolescent and adult years the determination to be free, indelibly etched in my inner being, has dictated all that I am and do. And why not?
Being raised in a free environment has stood me in good stead. I like what freedom stands for. I'm inspired by the history of all those who cherish freedom. Be they warriors such as Wallace, writers such as Orwell, leaders such as Mandela or artists such as Rockwell (Speech, Worship, Want, Fear). All championed the free world in which we live. Or in which we have lived up until now. I never thought to see the day, but our free world is under siege. Many are blind to the threat. Mark Twain's canny wit captures their lack of perception well - “It's easier to fool someone than it is to convince them they've been fooled.”
I'm happy to debate my assertions regarding the principles of a free society. The right to debate/challenge is a pillar of freedom. But I don't want to see freedom trashed. The censorious nonsense of much present day politics is ignorant and divisive. It's school bully stuff. I respect people for who they are, not what they are. Why should any free person be fearful of what they can think, say and do without falling foul of some self-appointed enforcer who will try to destroy their lives.
Those intent on telling people what to do, imposing tyrannical restrictions, denying basic freedoms, banning things and making lives more complicated have got it seriously wrong. They seek to crush the innate spirit of liberty and creativity which makes us human. Not me. I nurture that spirit in myself and admire it in others. I respect the ideals of personal indepence and self-investment.
I don't like big government. In a high-tax, high-regulation, high-control society only the rich, or those with 'special connections', get to prosper. That's not right. Everyone who is prepared to contribute to society in a meaningful way should have the opportunity to share in the wealth which is, after all, created by private businesses and individuals (often in the most challenging circumstances), not by the leeches of the impotent public sector and their cronies.
I am on the side of those who want control of your own lives; who want to build a business, to save, to learn, to support your families, to hand things on to your children. I'm proud of what these values stand for in the world. They are the values of upbeat, positive people. They produce positive results. They work.
All it takes for you to be part of this free world is to decide to do it. Form a clear plan and trust in your ability. Then get on with it. Work toward your dream with ruthless focus. Taking personal responsibility for your life puts you firmly on the side of freedom. On the side of Wallace. Where else would you rather be?
I am Tom Riach. I live and write in the sunny south of Portugal.
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ON THE SIDE OF FREEDOM is an original copyright Tom Riach feature.
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Great post Tom. I'm like you I love freedom. I even hate to see birds in cages, I believe birds should be free to soar in the sky, that's why they have wings. When I see the wild animals in zoos, I think they should be free to roam in the wild, where they belong. I haven't been to the zoo in decades. To take the freedom to express thoughts and ideas away from people, even if it's not the popular opinion, is like putting your mind in a cage, and that will never do. I agree that people should be free to prosper, build and live their lives as free human beings. Unrestricted by mandates and censorship to conform to popular opinion or dogma at the time. Because it's constantly changing anyway. I never liked bullies, that's how it feels when people want to control you.
Thanks Robin, many great points. You've added several wholly relevant dimensions to my article.
Excellent points you shared in this post Tom Riach I really liked when you said "I am on the side of those who want control of your own lives; who want to build a business, to save, to learn, to support your families, to hand things on to your children." I totally agree with you too.
Yes Terri, to have the aspirations mentioned are what it takes to motivate and drive people to improve their lot. When everyone is striving, and is encoraged to strive, in this way then you have a vibrant and dynamic society.
Very true Tom.
You are so right, thank you, Tom. Taking advantage of freedom has to come from within. We need to "decide to do it. Form a clear plan and trust in your ability. Then get on with it. Work toward your dream with ruthless focus." Deciding to do it is not easy for many, but 'just do it' can become a habit and certainly gets easier and easier. Our plan will come together, our faith in our abilities will strengthen. I believe that most of us have freedom, perhaps your article will help us to better use our freedom for prosperity. Thank you, again.
Thanks George. Saying what you think and doing what you say is a big part of standing up for yourself and personal freedom.
Yes indeed, this is very true.