Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's not your Fathers America

Daylight again, following me to bed
I think about a hundred years ago, how my fathers bled
I think I see a valley, covered with bones in blue
All the brave soldiers that cannot get older been askin' after you
Hear the past a callin', from Ar- -megeddon's side
When everyone's talkin' and noone is listenin', how can we decide?

(Do we) find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground

Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
Find the cost of freedom, buried in the ground
Mother earth will swallow you, lay your body down
(Find the cost of freedom buried in the ground)
-- "Find the Cost of Freedom", Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young
I have been around this world long enough to remember a lot of privileges or freedoms that have gone away in the name protection. For example:
  • I remember going to the local airport and watching the planes. Watching the passengers board and de-plane, watching the planes take off and land. Not from a concourse but from an overlook with emergency stairs to the tarmac.
  • I remember cars without seat belts and no requirement to buckle-up.
  • I remember when the voting age was dropped from 21 to 18 because "if you were old enough to "die for your country" you were old enough to vote.
  • I remember when the drinking age was 18 or 19 country wide for the same reason.
What happened? Hijackings, deaths due to no seatbelts, drunk driving deaths. Are these "good enough reasons"?

This week we were saddened by the deaths at Virginia Tech. What more evidence of a broken world do we need?

In a conversation with a friend this week, the conversation changed to "we need to do something to protect these students" came up. After listening to the argument, I asked, "At what cost to freedom?". My ancestors for 3 or 4 generations have served in the military to guarantee freedom for themselves and their children as well as to fight injustice.

Looking at the changes to freedoms over the last 40 years or so, each one, taken individually is a "good thing". Taken as a group, however, I wonder.

I wonder if we, as citizens, have lost common sense, self-control and the power of observation. A case in point was the McDonalds Coffee burn lawsuit which netted the woman quite a bit of money for doing somethin my mother would have told me not to do. The result is not, of course a loss of freedom but all these crazy warning labels that, for the most part, are ignored because many people do have common sense.

1 comment:

Rob said...

As times change it seems that we have less of an idea about the relationship between responsibility and freedom than ever before.

The results are often tragic.