Monday, March 4, 2019

Freedom, What it is--and is not

Freedom; what is it--and what is it not?   

Please, watch this and listen: 

It is a great word, "freedom", an incredible concept; but finally, what is it? 

Can governments deliver on their proclamations and pronouncements of freedom?  Can they offer anything more than a flag and a few ideas--even giveaways--as some sort of bait & switch?  The answer is "no"; indeed, governments or the state operate by force alone, whether through militancy or the media, the controlling of the mind, the masses.  

Freedom (or liberty) is not the supposed right to do what you want, but rather, to do what you should.  

What should you do?  
What is the right thing?  

Please, do not depend on the state to set the basis of what is right, the right thing?  Like any one of us alone, the state is prone to corruption but, with immense power, puts corruption into practice on a scale as no other.   

The state nor any such institutions can deliver on freedom.  Where then does freedom, to the extent of possibilities, come from? 

Freedom to its fullest comes only through death, if at all, when the soul is set completely free from corruption.  

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Hero in the making

A hero in the making is one who is learning to overcome fears; perhaps, he is realizing that fear(s) is/are or can be very real, but often are simply the absence of love (if you consider that love overcomes fears).  

Mentioned in the last article as an example of a hero, a woman decides to try to have a child, to give birth. In the ages of history, it was not that long ago that childbearing was much more fatal ; and thus, all the more a hero she is--or was.  Sometimes, perhaps more often than not, she did not decide on her own--or decide at all--but the decision was one of her husband and/family (at the same time, it was convention for women to bear children). 

Aside from the health risks, child bearing is crucial to a society (any society showing a sustained, declining birthrate is dying). It is (or was) heroic to bear children but it is/was also heroic to raise them and, preferably, to do it well.  For the ages, folks have formed families, tribes, clans and communities that constitute a society, civilization, and undoubtedly there have been many unsung heroes along with those who never qualify. 

Mothers can be heroes in many ways, not the least of which is their love and care for their family; but even though they bear children, still, a mother may fail to love, to care and to offer herself a sacrifice (much of the same applies to men, fathers and family).  

What then finally makes a parent a hero (principally to his children)?  
It is an undying love. 

Well, do all superheroes where capes (and other such garb)?

I have a T-shirt from with a related slogan:  "Not all heroes wear capes". This was a gift for giving blood.  The prior time I got a blanket and now the T-shirt. 

But giving blood is sometimes what heroes do; that is, they (him or her) make great sacrifices and sometime suffer much for the sake of others.  They may not actually shed blood but the do sacrifice and perhaps would give their lives if the need arose.Heroes are not out for themselves.   

Who is our hero(s)?  What do you consider heroism, heroic?  

It is said or believed that the hero (traits) are fundamentally truthfulness and unselfishness. However super the hero, they must carry these two qualities, behaviors and lifestyle.  Yes, super-heroes dazzle us with their theater but it more than person behind the mask, armor and all than the appearance, perception.  

In his book Dark Moon, author David Gemmell writes: 
Heroes are people who face down their fears. It is that simple. A child afraid of the dark who one day blows out the candle; a women terrified of the pain of childbirth who says, "It is time..."
He continues, 
There's no shame in fear. But understand this--the coward is ruled by fear, while the hero rides it like a wild stallion.  
I guess then that a hero must master his fears.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hero - what is it?

We're all familiar with the word, the idea or concept of the Hero. I am thinking of this word these days, a moment here or there to consider heroes of mine.  

Who or what are my heroes; what kind of character do I think of when thinking of heroes? 

It taking this thought further, I considered several beginnings to a series on this question.  The first is a song by Randy Travis, "Heroes and Friends".  

"Heroes and Friends"

Can one or another be both, a friend and hero too?  Have I ever known both in one, person?

I believe that this duo is possible; perhaps a lifelong friend is a hero (to you), for they have been there when you needed them--needed help, hope.  One may begin as just a hero or just a friend but then, BOOM, they become more....   

Can I or you be both to someone somewhere; can we offer that rare by highly-respected role of friend and hero too?   What is it in life that creates or conjures up enough courage and commitment to become both friend and hero?    How can we be the hero? 

Yet another quote to get this topic (question) going; Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn: 
Great heroes need great sorrows and burdens, or half their greatness goes unnoticed. It is all part of the fairy tale.  
Stop to consider and start to remember what it means to be a hero, great sorrow and great burden or sacrifice.  

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Power and Politcs - more still...

Besides the alliterative quality--even poetic--of these two words, is the bond between and among them; the two are inextricably linked, related and dependent.  

Where there is politics and power, there is always corruption and, left unchecked, a cabal or consort, criminals of high crimes and misdemeanors.   A famous, often cited, quote by John Stuart Mill, 
Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends than that good men should look on and do nothing. 
Power & Politics is as the dragon; that without a dragon slayer or otherwise those who stand in the gap on behalf of the land, all that remains is the shouting for those that compromised and were complacent--all resistance arrested or resting in their graves.     

It is true that the best government is that which governs least..., so said Thoreau; and when left to fester and foment, Power & Politics becomes pandemic. From the still striving, a true statesman, Ron Paul, 
When one gets in bed with government, one must expect the diseases it spreads. 
He also said,  "Let the rEVOLution begin," and when/as/if it does, then Politics & Power will know that dragon slayers are not dead yet, one or more who stand in the gap on behalf of the land.

Power - confronting the dragon

How does the dragon doom its domain, destiny?   The answer is simply that it, the dragon, is destined to die, to rise indubitably and indomitably and then decline whether dramatic, or by a slow debilitating case of serious heartburn , heartbroken.  

What is true of the dragon is that it will die just as all the dragons before it; that once fierce and formidable, it will lose any and all of those who could be--and perhaps once were--friends (if it ever had a friend).  The dragon dies in more than the physical, but of a broken heart, shattered by its deep insecurities and insistence on taking it all, everyone and everything.  Yes, the dragon is insatiable and thus does not have a means or method to give or even express gratitude. 

Who or what is the dragon?  

"Good-reads", a Website of quotations, offers much on the beast or behemoth, whether words of tribute or terror; but the dragon is finally and fully unto itself; one with whom the figurative world will fight, fear and not forget.   The dragon is does not have to look the part, as with the illustration above, but nevertheless be the part.    

From C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,
Sleeping on a dragon's hoard with greedy, dragon thoughts in his heart, he became a dragon.  
When and where one consorts with dragon(s), so too will they become one, of the same mind of madness, a masochistic, their heart diseased with death and destruction.  Dragons cannot love or otherwise are incapable of care, caring, except to the extent that it serves them for the moment. They (it) may appear to at first give a care--and even speak on it--but they always and forever default to death and destruction--devoid of the capacity for care, caring and compassion.  The dragon considers love as a fault, a weakness.  

Beware of the dragon's breath that breathes your last.

Deception - pawns on the chessboard

Most of familiar with the game of chess; the king, that though limited in movement, is crucial to the outcome ("check", "checkmate" or when defeat is inevitable, concession).  Then there is the pawn, the many pawns as the first line of defense and, on rare occasion, a hero of sort.  

For the most part, the pawns are "consumed" however, taken out by the more powerful:  the queen and her court of bishops, knights and rooks.  It is not random or remote that the pawn is physically a small piece and, though larger in number, is much limited in movement, often serving as "cannon fodder"; sacrificed for the sake of the kingdom, the potential to preserve power through victory.For some play(-ers), the pawn may actually seem to get in the way, more a liability than asset, simply filling a block on the board, blocking the better.  Pawns are at best expendable, sometimes considered a indefensible as a wall in modern days of warfare.

The pawn is the least powerful and, though larger in number, is the least...

If you were a chess piece, which one would you prefer to be?  You can choose a pawn, the poorest of all pieces or something else, grand and great though fewer in number.  

It seems that the pawn is, per the number, "only a number" and nothing more.  The play momentarily accepts the loss of a pawn and quite incidental, ignominious in the casualties of the conflict, competition.   

At one time or/and another, the pawn will be your part; you will be drawn in to the game (racket) only to realize (perhaps after much time and thought), that you were taken...sometimes still believing that you did, "the right thing."  You may beat yourself up over this, accepting or acknowledging that you were a fool, too taken for your own good or benefit; yet life and living will never fully release you from "playing the pawn" as long as you love, really love.  For what is love without sacrifices and what is sacrifice without trust that, if not for them (whomever "them" happens to be) that you did it (whatever the gift or sacrifice was) for "us" as it was.