Here in the States, we are celebrating Independence Day tomorrow. But it is a very different kind of Independence Day. With Covid-19 in our midst, health authorities are urging us to stay home and stay safe. That is my plan.
Perhaps this is the year that we consider our freedom in a deeper way. A way that isn’t the “cowboy-up” of rugged individualism, but a way that includes being there for each other and belonging, as parts of a whole.
Since I love a good quote, I’ve collected a few about freedom. Note which ones appeal to you. Is there one you might want to choose as a theme for the rest of 2020?
“My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.”—Desmond Tutu
“Truth is powerful and it prevails.” —Sojourner Truth
“The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
“Diversity is not about how we differ. Diversity is about embracing one another’s uniqueness.” —Ola Joseph
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” —Maya Angelou
“America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination, and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” — Harry S. Truman
“Freedom is fragile and must be protected. To sacrifice it, even as a temporary measure, is to betray it.” — Germaine Greer
“Who ever walked behind anyone to freedom? If we can’t go hand in hand, I don’t want to go.” — Hazel Scott
“We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it.” — William Faulkner
“With freedom comes responsibility.” —Eleanor Roosevelt
“The American, by nature, is optimistic. [S]He is experimental, an inventor, and a builder who builds best when called upon to build greatly.” — John F. Kennedy
“May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.” — Peter Marshall
“The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion. It is an idea — and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from, but where you are going.” — Condoleezza Rice
“For you have been called to live in freedom. Use your freedom to serve one another in love.” — Galatians 5:13
Happy Independence Day, my friends! May we each experience the depth and responsibility of our freedom.
Read the previous dispatch here.