This week we celebrate our independence on July Fourth. For many of the serving leaders I know, it’s a reminder of how important freedom is to serving leaders. Many men and women have been serving leaders for a long time.
They started their lives in the military or serving others through their professional careers. For those who founded our country, the pursuit of happiness included serving a cause greater than themselves. This provides a foundation of freedom across the world. So I thought I might share with you what freedom means to me and many of the people I have served over my lifetime.
There are four keys to being free in the world today. See how many of them that resonate with you this July Fourth. If we are to continue being the home of the free, we must be willing to embrace the values that keep us free.
The first freedom is the freedom of choice. America was founded on the principle that we have the right to choose to do and be who we want. This means to me that we are given our freedom not from other people or groups, but by God. The challenge of freedom of choice has been around since the beginning of mankind, but has never been easily achieved. In most societies in world history, there have always been people who are oppressed. Today, we face similar challenges when leaders decide choosing for us is more convenient than us choosing for us. Take time today to remember that to be truly free we must be willing to fight for the freedom of making our own choices.
The second freedom is the freedom to make decisions. Now, I’m going to get into some hot water here about the freedom of making decisions. I feel that if we want to choose we must be willing to choose. Making a decision is not a peaceful freedom but one that means you must be willing to sacrifice for what you believe. The world is full of choices and we must be willing to stand for our decisions if we hope to remain free.
The third freedom is freedom from fear. The freedom of fear is about us making choices and not fearing reprisals or repercussions. We have the freedom to make our own choices, but we shouldn’t be fearful after we make those choices because we might be prosecuted, bullied, or forced to live with others choices. I understand that in this world there are always only three options on most issues we are involved with; yes, no and not making a choice. All three options have repercussions, but we must allow people to make their decisions, free of fear.
The fourth freedom is the freedom of worship. The final freedom helps us decide what or who we worship. I have no problem with you choosing not to worship God. I do have a problem when you say that I don’t have the freedom to worship God. Does this mean that the minority has the right to take away my choices? If I choose to share my beliefs, must I live in fear of reprisal because my opinions may offend others? Where is freedom if it does not include tolerance of others religious beliefs?
I choose to believe in a greater power that connects us all, God. I believe that there is a better way of living life. This freedom sets me free. It also has created the greatest conflicts mankind has ever known. Because this freedom creates conflict doesn’t mean it’s not worth fighting for.
So how do we celebrate our freedom this week? I suggest we remember what freedom means to you and what are you willing to sacrifice to provide it to future generations.
See you here next week. Looking for more great ideas celebrating the Fourth of July? You might enjoy reading our Independence Day blog at Market Leadership Journal on How to Build Influence Like Ben Franklin