Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston: Freedom, Security and Difficult Choices

The cowardly, senseless attack at the Boston Marathon this week once again brings a powerful question to the fore – a question that people seem unable to come to grips with.

It is the question of which do we value more – freedom or security?

We all demand security for ourselves, our families and our nation.  We all like to live as we please, doing what we enjoy.  Many of the latter also demand the ultimate right to do as they please outside the all-seeing eye of government, various security agencies, law enforcement groups or Big Brother organizations.

Sadly, when we demand both and champion such freedoms that we enjoy in Canada and the US, freedoms that many brave people have paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect, such freedoms also provide reasons for some to resent us. 

More importantly, such freedoms also provide opportunities for nutbars to leverage vulnerabilities created by such freedoms to inflict pain upon us.

The only way that the cowards, miscreants and deviants of our world can be totally prevented from inflicting pain upon us is for us to totally give up all the freedoms that we cherish, including but not limited to the areas of:

- the right to assemble (especially to celebrate)

- privacy of communication

- privacy of financial transactions

- the right to go anywhere in the world and be assured of our safety

- the right to do whatever we want without fear of oversight (including regulatory) and

- the right to go wherever / whenever we please without the inconvenience of metal detectors, being wanded or being corralled inside specific areas.

Few people are willing to give up such freedoms in totality.  We believe that such freedoms are a foundational component of our society, a foundational need for our species and one of the many things that makes our society great.

Unfortunately, while we have become a society of “I want it all and I want it now” there are still a few areas where we can’t have it all, including in the areas of freedom and security - at least as we define them today.

Our society, as it strives (and struggles) to find the best solution possible, will always find itself navigating the difficult balance between these two things that we believe we need and deserve.

As Dwight Eisenhower once said:

“If you want total security, go to prison. There you're fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking... is freedom. ”

A truly enlightened species wouldn’t have a problem with figuring out how to have both.

But an enlightened species we are not and so we must do our best to recognize that such violent acts will always be with us – at least for the foreseeable future.

However, when such heinous acts occur, human attributes in the areas of bravery, love, unselfishness, teamwork, collaboration and yes, justice, will always stand out and clearly send a message that such acts are not acceptable.

It is a message that we are not defeated by the intimidation attempts of the few, the weak and the cowardly.

And maybe, just maybe, if we give ourselves enough time and don’t tear our society apart before we figure this out, we will have an opportunity to discover that we can find a way to bring freedom and security together.

Until then, we move forward, together, in support, in mourning, in strength, in love and with a vision and intention to move towards the promise of something better and with a strong message to those who oppose such ideals that their actions are not acceptable nor will they ever be.

But until then, human beings will continue to demonstrate the perfection of our imperfection, reflecting the best and worst of our potential.

And until then, the question of “why?” when it comes to understanding the evil motives of certain individuals will rarely produce a satisfactory or even a rational answer.

But those questions can be answered tomorrow.

Today we mourn the lost, comfort the living and show the world the best of humanity.

What human potential do you promote, allow, enable and create?

How do you know?

Are you sure?

In service and servanthood,


No comments:

Post a Comment