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Life and Living

Happy New Year!

Hey there.

It’s the end of the twenty-teens and now we’re on to the twenty-twenties. I was impressed with one of my friends’ posts today regarding the new year, being positive as it begins. Her premise was to use the first letter of our name and make a positive word from it. So I’ll go one step further and choose the initials of my three names.

First, “F” is for free. Ours is a free nation and in many ways we take hold of our freedom and soar. My question though is “do we fully live up to our personal potential for the freedoms we have?” I believe there persists a much too narrow view of what it means to be free. It’s akin to Plato’s Cave Allegory in which humans are chained to a cave floor facing the back wall, skewing reality into a false view of shadows of moving bodies in front of a fire projected on their wall. An enlightened person, to Plato a philosopher, frees himself from the chains, turns and walks out the cave entrance into the sun, enlightening him to true reality.

“D” is for dream. Related to getting the most from being free, I wonder if we dream big enough. Dreaming is the initial thought process for aspiring to grow and reach for the top. A baby in a crib is constantly searching for a way out. One day she looks up and realizes there is no top on her jail and she stands up to reach for the top. Eventually she gets tall enough and not only reaches it, she’s at last strong enough to pull up and escape. At first her dreaming hurts as she falls on a hard floor, but then she learns to climb down and crawl to explore her world outside the bars. Dreams make us reach. They challenge our status quo and raise questions we could never conceive of before dreaming.

“S” is for submit. I know this one may seem out of kilter with the other two. Actually, when you really consider positivism, there is no freeing or competent dreaming until one is ready, willing and able to submit.

That we exist as a free country is proof. When the people who started us decided that they had had enough, they rebelled. Not hardly in keeping with what I’ve been saying so far, eh? Think again. Yes they had submitted and submitted to the point of breaking, because their submission only helped another country whose king seemed to care little about the hardships they faced and the hard work they had accomplished for him. So, in the proper course of time, they revolted and won the war.

But did they stop submitting? No! They knew that if they won their independence it would mean, yes, finally at last, the freedom from the forced submission of a tyrannical king. They also knew that to have and hold that freedom to dream and accomplish, they would have to submit to each other. They knew that the cost of being free to dream and reach for the top would in some ways be putting the good of the whole nation ahead of their own interests.

If you don’t think that’s still true, ask all the family members of the women and men who have given their lives for our freedom this past year. Ours is not only a country of being free to dream, but one where it’s constituents are free to dream and reach for the top so they can help others to the same goal. That’s pretty positive in my book.

Have a happy 2020!

By for now.

By floyd123

FD Sutherland is a family man, a Minnesota public school educator, and a self-published author.

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