Themes in anticipation of Independence Day: social and spiritual freedom

I Hear America Singing Walt Whitman
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

On Political and Social Freedom

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. — Benjamin Franklin

The function of freedom is to free someone else. — Toni Morrison

Liberty has never come from the government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of it. The history of liberty is a history of resistance. — Woodrow Wilson

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear. — George Orwell

Struggle is a never ending process. Freedom is never really won, you earn it and win it in every generation. — Coretta Scott King

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. — Nelson Mandela

Peace is more than just the absence of war. True peace is justice, true peace is freedom. And true peace dictates the recognition of human rights. — Ronald Reagan

Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. — Pope John Paul II

On Spiritual Freedom

Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will, and creative imagination. These give us the utlimate human freedom … The power to choose, to respond, to change. — Stephen Covey

Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain … To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices – today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but to embrace it. — Kevyn Alcouin

All great spirituality teaches about letting go of what you don’t need and who you are not … At that place, you will have nothing to prove to anybody and nothing to protect. That place is called freedom. It’s the freedom of the children of God. ― Richard Rohr

Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. If, in our heart, we still cling to anything – anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free. — Thich Nhat Hahn

Free of who I was, free of presence, free of dangerous fear, hope, free of mountainous wanting. — Rumi

There’s freedom in hitting bottom, in seeing that you won’t be able to save or rescue your daughter, her spouse, his parents, or your career, relief in admitting you’ve reached the place of great unknowing. This is where restoration can begin. — Anne Lamott

Forgiveness is the key to action and freedom. — Hannah Arendt

To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment. — Eckhard Tolle

Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you. — Jean-Paul Sartre

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