Saturday, November 13, 2010

Born Free

 Under the law of nature, all men are born free, every one comes into the world with a right to his own person, which includes the liberty of moving and using it at his own will. This is what is called personal liberty, and is given him by the Author

Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President (1801-09).
Author of the Declaration of Independence

This is another view on the importance of freedom (see Freedom of Speech).

This is a trailer from the film, Born Free (1966). I remember seeing this film when I was a youngster and how it informed my view of animals, freedom and peaceful coexistence. Its endearing message resonates today. Freedom, whether it is for man or animal, defines who we are, yet is hard to gain. Each succeeding generation must fight in some fashion to ensure their freedom.

Even the best democracies give way to fear and erosion of liberties. Today we live in the Age Of Terror, providing the State the legal justification for its overweening appetite to interfere with the liberties of its citizens. This perils the the most fundamental principles of democracy. "The right to be let alone is indeed the beginning of all freedoms," noted William O. Douglas, a noted American Supreme Court Justice.

Equally important, "Dissent is not Disloyalty," Edward R. Murrow reminds us in his famous March 9, 1954, broadcast against the hysteria of McCarthyism. (see Freedom of Speech).

We want to not only to be born free, a liberty that not all the world's citizens have the luxury to claim, but to also live free. These two liberties go hand in hand in a well-functioning democracy. The majestic lions have much to teach us Humans.