This is Holger Spiewak. Today, I would like to take a few minutes and talk about the subject of FREEDOM. In working with Orrin Woodward for over 12 years now I have certainly gained a whole new perspective on Freedom.
Thomas Paine is quoted to have said,
“What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon it’s goods; and it should be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should be highly rated.”
For a long time of my life I was certainly swimming along with the stream of the vast majority of people that took the freedoms that I have been blessed with for granted. Even though, I served in the German Air Force for 2 years and felt that at least to a small extend I was “fighting with NATO against the evil empire”, I certainly had no appreciation of my freedoms and the price that somebody had to pay for me to enjoy them. Growing up in a FREE Germany was certainly nice. Meeting a close family friend, Dan Quinn, who had just started his first assignment as an officer in the U.S. Air Force in Germany in 1983 started me on a path the would eventually lead me to America in 1993.
America, Land of the free, home of the brave. “Amerika, das Land der unbegrenzten Moeglichkeiten”, as we say in Germany, in English, “America, the land of unlimited possibilities”. Similar statements are known in different countries throughout the world, basically, stating the same sentiment. So, one has to ask, WHY is America so “free”? Obviously, we can take that into many directions, starting with the fact that those that came to America from the old world were looking to escape tyranny and oppression. The generations following had to endure many hardships and fight for freedom, settling the West, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, World War I, World War II. In all these endeavors, many Americans sacrificed dearly, many gave their lives in the pursuit of freedom. In the beginning, for America’s freedom but eventually, which is even more amazing, for my freedom. Who knows how Germany during my childhood would have looked like had Hitler won the war. Likely I would have been “trained” in the Hitler youth about the “great freedoms” that come with living under a fascist regime. Thanks, but “no, thanks!!”
The point is that freedom is not free. Freedom has won those battles but the war is still going on. The enemy is no longer King George, Slavery, or Adolf Hitler, the enemy is… Well, who is it?!?
In my eyes, there is a lot of forces now that are battling a war of ideas. A war behind the scenes, that most people are not aware of. These forces are working on taking our freedoms away one by one, little by little. And what do most people do about that? Play computer games, watch more football, entertain more, turn the other way, because, who cares about the future generations? I don’t care if my grandkids and their kids enjoy the same freedoms I have as long as I am happy… Really?!? Is that how we feel? Of course not. But that is how we act. For a long time of my life, I have acted that way, done my share of playing computer games and wasted my life away being entertained. I believe it was the cartoon character POGO who once said, “We have met the enemy and he is US!”, I say, EXACTLY!!! After reading the excellent book FREEDOM SHIFT, by Oliver DeMille, Founder of the Center for Social Leadership (http://www.thesocialleader.com/), which I obtained through the LIFE materials, I realize that as long as I remain a passive bystander and don’t actively get involved to fight for freedom, I AM an accomplice of the enemy, I AM the enemy!!! However, I can do something in the fight for FREEDOM. I can turn off my computer games, turn off the TV, sacrifice some entertainment and educate myself in what it will take to turn the tide around and do something about it. And, hopefully, if enough of us are willing to change and fight for freedom, our grandkids and the generations following will have a chance to enjoy the freedoms that so many people today take for granted.
Is there anybody else out there willing to sacrifice for freedom?!? Because,
“I’m gonna go pick a fight.” -William Wallace in Braveheart