About Me

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I'm the author of The Liberty Pole. I dabble a bit in blogging and have a fascination with early American history (late 18th century) as well as WWII. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Doing It Right

John Noble and Jasika Nicole's
Fringe panel at Dallas Comic-con
This past weekend I attended the Dallas Comic-con. It was a blast and I thoroughly recommend it. It's crowded and it's just short of chaos, but its also a great deal of fun. Really, when you get down to it, most people are nerds about something. I've got quite a few somethings, but we don't need to detail all of that out here.
One that I will mention, only because it's relative, is the Star Trek Next Generation Panel that I listened in on. There was a little girl in the audience that had come the previous day in full costume as the Borg Queen. Very creative, very cool. She asked her question to the panel and when she had finished the actors were talking with her parents about the creativity that went into the costume and cultivating creativity in children. They  said that the parents were "doing it right."

That seems to be a common phrase lately. Doing it right, but what does it mean?

 I know that I've mentioned, as a writer, that I tend to dwell on words, their meanings, and how their used. Sometimes almost to a paralytic state. I have the personality that when I set out on route to a goal, I want to make sure that I'm doing it right and sometimes that means that I get so bogged down in the idea that I don't move in any direction

It seems like our world is increasingly full of pitfalls and snares that are ready to grab us around the ankles and drag us down. Do my words hold any weight? Have I validated my argument in every way possible? What if I've missed something detrimental because I simply didn't know where to look? How can I do this right?

I'm not sure there's a definite answer for this. (Scary, right?). I may simply be speaking for myself, but I'm not clairvoyant. No matter how many pieces of information I try to gather to make the best decision, there is always the possibility - the probability - that I've missed something. Whether it's research I'm doing for a book, reading up on historical and current news for this blog, trying to figure out the best route for publication, or just conversing with another person: I cannot 100% predict the outcome of an event that has not happened yet. 

So what is doing it right? If we can't pull back the vale of time and peer off into the future for our answers, how do we know? We don't. Sometimes we just have to take a breath, say a little prayer, and not let our fears tie us down. Kristen Lamb says every hard knock is a learning experience

Think about our foundings (you knew it was coming around to this eventually) as Americans. What if Dr Joseph Warren had been unwilling to stand strong while his political mentor Sam Adams was in Philadelphia? What if John Hancock, as a merchant, hadn't been willing to dump the tea? Or if Nathan Hale (and so many others) hadn't been willing to give his life? And what if George Washington had demanded a sure victory in order for him to take command? None of those men knew how it would end. Some didn't even live to see what their sacrifices bought. They had no idea that Americans nearly 240 years later would think they were doing it right. 

So we stand as each generation stands: with fewer answers than we have questions. Those knocks we take, both as individuals and as a nation, make us who we are. Own up to the mistakes and use them to make better choices in the future. Perhaps, God willing, they will look back on us someday and say that we were doing it right.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Free Enough

There's a conversation a little over half way through The Liberty Pole in which one character asks an other "Haven't you ever wanted to be free?" to which the second replies "I'm free enough," and she means it. There is no hesitation, no thought on what that truly means. She is simply free enough.

I've been thinking about that line since jotting it down perhaps three or four years ago. I think the idea originally came from a story my dad used to tell me when I was little about how many people would prefer the promise of one meal a day (or a loaf of bread) than the possibility of more without it being guaranteed. These people preferred dependency, no matter the cost.

So I started thinking: just what does one give up as payment to a government that says "We will cloth you. We will feed you. We will put a roof over your head. We will make sure you are educated in our school systems." The list goes on and on, and if you ask where the money comes from, often there's not a clear understanding of it by the ones taking it. Well, contrary to what some people may think, there's not a stash of money somewhere and a country can't just print new money off any time they please and continue to function. So, if nothing in life is free, as they say, what does one have to give up in order to obtain these things?

It starts out slow, but the more dependent one becomes on the government, the more personal freedoms are ebbed away. All you have to do is look at the tyrannies of the generations before us: freedom of expression is smothered, freedom of belief is hampered, and freedom of choice is eventually taken from you. Once you become dependent on an entity they have the ability to move you in the direction that you wish to go and the chains of oppression weigh you down until they have taken every bit of your will from you. In the end, it seems like the most natural thing in the world to follow in line. One right after another. One step, then two, straight towards the edge of the cliff and on over.

I hold a very firm belief that slavery is not natural. To be oppressed is not a state in which mankind was meant to live upon his creation. Freedom is a worthy goal, and also one of the highest ones we can hope to attain in this life. Those that grab for power at the expense of the people to whom this country belongs would have us believe we are free. They would have us be like Ellie, the woman in the novel that believes she is "free enough," and to go through life with the blinders fixed well so that we might not see what is happening around us and the cotton stuffed deeply in our ears so we might not hear. All the while they promise bigger and better things if we'll just give a little more of that freedom away. If we'll consent that we are free enough, even if we're not free at all. They tell us everything will be alright and they smile while they snap the cuffs on our wrists, hang the weights down on the chains, and march us straight over that cliff.

"When liberty is the prize, who would shun the warfare? Who would stoop to waste a coward thought on life? We esteem no sacrifice too great, no conflict too severe, to redeem our inestimable rights and privileges." 
                                                                         Dr. Joseph Warren, 1774