Why Freedom Demands Responsibility

“The principle of freedom must be our first commitment, for without this no one is immune against the virus of aggrandizement – the impulse to grab power, wealth, position, or reputation at the expense of others.” 


True freedom is a commitment to experiencing the very real limitations of our choices

We will always have to live with some sort of, ‘what if I had…’ We will always have to mourn the limitless possibilities we didn’t pursue. If we had no choice about our life we’d simply get on with it, but because we do, we live in constant fear of making the wrong one.

That’s the price we pay for the freedom of choice. 

We have to live with the consequences of our actions. We have to live in the knowledge we could have done things differently. To know we could have done things better. 

I wonder if many of us don’t actually want the level of responsibility that comes with having to choose our own fate? Perhaps this is why so many of us prefer to be told what to do? Perhaps this is why so many of us choose not to think for ourselves? 

It’s too uncomfortable. 

We don’t want to take responsibility for our life. We didn’t have to as children so why should we now?

Many recent decisions we’ve made in the “free” parts of this world demonstrate an unwillingness to take on this fundamental aspect of freedom. We follow the herd because it’s easier. We follow the herd because that’s what our parents taught us to do. 

I imagine that living in a society where your thoughts and actions are decided for you is in some ways easier. You don’t have to think about what to do. When your survival depends on the actions that the state has demanded, you just do. So you become another brain washed cog in the totalitarian machine. Just as your dictator ordered. There’s a nice little cog. 

The sad truth about such a life is you still have responsibilities. They’re just not your own. 

You cannot escape responsibility.

Many of us falsely belief that freedom comes with the freedom not to have any responsibilities. How we love to have our cake and eat it too! We say, ‘if only I choose the right leader then I’ll be able to achieve financial independence free from having to try at anything.’

Delusion is a word. 

Delusion is what’s sold to you by populists who promise the world free of charge. They promise you the things that only you can deliver for yourself. 

There’s a huge price that comes with freedom, incalculable in fact – millions have died for it – but I believe the rewards justify it. Yes the possibility of failure is real, but so is the possibility of achieving greatness. We should remember that humans don’t flourish under the conditions of compulsion – we flourish under the conditions of free co-operation.

It’s hard to shift through the noise of course. It’s extremely hard in fact. To do the research required to figure out what your own opinions are on matters that affect us all. The rewards are not that you’ll have a leader you want or a country that reflects the values you hold. 

You probably won’t. 

The reward is actually greater than that. The reward is that you get to know who you truly are. This is something your country and the world needs more than your vote. What we need is a diversity of unique voices speaking for themselves. What we don’t need is a tribe of mindless people echoing only the thoughts of one man. 

Don’t be so quick to throw your freedom under the bus for someone else. 

It’s important to remember that no two voices are the same. Freedom respects that fact. We should be extremely wary of those who seek to limit the voices of others. We should take the time to listen to what our own heart has to say. We should put in the effort to form our own opinions. We should honour them with the choices we get to make. 

I read a quote recently by Niklas Göke from his persuasive article Responsibility Is Freedom that said,

“Freedom is not about shedding your responsibilities, it’s about choosing them.”

I would go a step further and say that freedom demands we choose our responsibilities. The same way that having a life demands we protect it. If you want freedom of choice then you have to choose to take responsibility for your life. If you don’t someone else will choose your responsibilities for you. The danger is they will use that for their own profit and power by forming a narrative you refused to take responsibility for forming yourself. In doing so they will shut your mind from your heart. The moment that happens, you’ve lost your freedom.

Thank you all for taking the time to read. If you’re not too busy lining up at the polls, I’m interested in getting your thoughts. What do you think about the relationship between freedom and responsibility? Have we taken our freedoms for granted in the Western world? Is this why we find it under threat? Do you even believe it is under threat? Or do you think that freedom has nothing to do with responsibility? As always I welcome ALL opinions and thoughts. This is very much a free state.


You can visit AP2’s personal blog here at: https://clear-air-turbulence.com

51 thoughts on “Why Freedom Demands Responsibility

  1. Thank you very much for this post!
    I agree and to get some kind of justice we all would want to have for ourselves as well, we should speak and stand up for others as well. Because it is of course easy (for some) to speak for themselves. But when there would be someone in need, unable to speak for themselves, it should be a normal thing to do, to speak up for them as well and defend, support and help them (up).
    I mean if you would get beaten down by a group of bullies or a gang, you would also want that someone rescues you, at least usually. So why not be the one or many to do that for someone else who is in such a situation right now. Often people look away, are afraid to speak up and take action. Because, as you mentioned, they don’t want to take responsibility for their life and related actions.

    And yep… I also was one of these people too many times, out of the fear and resignation related to my own life and how I felt unheard and misunderstood, while others were allowed to judge, manipulate and torture me (mostly psychologically/mentally). Simple words and actions can often cause a lot more harm than expected, because for one self they might not be that hard to do or seem not too harmful. But the one who has to then handle all of this might feel in another way and could be deeply hurt or changed by these things. And what is possible in a bad way, could also be good and cheer someone up, simple words and actions. Just a friendly emotion, word and sign, can move and change and cheer up, more than thousands of laws and smiles and hearts, when there is nothing behind it or it is all just ignored. As usual: Someone else will take care of it. But then who is this “someone”? No one knows for sure, as long as everything “works”, no one asks questions or takes action.

    I count myself in on that, although I asked questions a lot, but sadly at the wrong time or the wrong people and sometimes just to myself. Fear is really a powerful thing. But it consumes us all or did for the past years, especially this year. And everyone was kind of scared at least.

    Thank you for these honest words! Stay safe and true! <3 <3

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts – I’m really glad you liked it. I agree. I took my freedoms for granted for most of my life but the last 5 years have woken me up to why I can no longer afford to do that. Standing up for the marginalised is very much in line with standing up for the values of freedom. Respect and honesty must be the values we look for in our leaders for exactly this reason. Hate crimes have been on rise and people are scared to have a political opinion different to others in the “free” world. It’s tragic. Fear is often the bugbear that prevents us from doing what we know is right. I live in Hong Kong – have done most of my life – and seen first hand how the erosion of freedom rots the soul of a place. I live with that fear – it’s one of the reasons why I write under the pseudonym AP2 – to protect my family. But not fighting at all is not an option. I have to remind myself that millions died for the freedoms I’ve enjoyed my whole life and now they are under threat. For our generation the time has never been more pressing to take responsibility for the gifts previous generations gave their life for.

      I’ve suffered under the weight of bullying too. It’s actually what drove me into years of depression. Small acts of kindness and love are never small for someone suffering under the weight of depression. Right now the world needs as much as it get it hands on.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and making me think more deeply. I wish you, strength and peace in the days ahead. All the best, AP2 🙏

      1. Thank you for your long and open message. I also hope that you are alright, although still in fear as you wrote. But given that you wrote to me about it, might have shown that you aren’t as afraid as you thought. But I know what you mean, about all those who died for what we have now. This is why I just had to write about things, go beyond any “thought logic” or whatever others made me believe in and think. I really hope that more and more people wake up like us and maybe soon than we both can imagine. This year gave most of us, at least those who had a more or less “good” life the final kick. I have already seen many examples and creative ways. Thank you a lot! I can imagine it wasn’t that easy to write this to me or at least not without some emotions involved. In my case I just write out of these emotions this whole year. Although I can’t always express them in a way others understand, it was better than doing nothing. And so far this hope, this rope I got my hands on, was not letting me down. 🙏 Stay safe and don’t give up! <3

  2. AP, as a young person, I was sick of being micro-managed. Thinking about it a few years later, I came to realize the truth of the statement, “If you don’t want to be governed, govern yourself!” This year, the following statement seemed to fit the situation, “If you don’t vote, don’t complain about the outcome.” I truly believe that taking responsibility brings freedom. Thank you so much, AP for this wise and thoughtful post!

    1. I think we all go through some kind of similar attitude toward our employers at some point in our lives. As you say, If you don’t like something take responsibility for that by making changes. I often think the more responsibility you take on in life the more freedom is afforded to you – even offered to you. I definitely think there is a strong correlation between the two. Thanks Cheryl. I appreciate the debate. And spot on about the ‘don’t vote don’t complain mentality’

    2. What if you don’t like either out come when it comes to voting? Example…the USA election. Is Biden really better than Trump? Biden may not be an egotistical psychopath, but most of Biden’s beliefs and political platform disagree with a lot of Americans. I may be a liberal Canadian, but I have lived in the states long enough to have a feeling there is a lot they disagree with the left. Though some may truly support Biden, a lot don’t and just voting for him because by a little smudge he may be the lesser of two evils. That doesn’t make it right though. Voting in countries like the USA that has fallen way too far into a S***t hole, doesn’t do anything because it needs a revolution. I think if I could vote I wouldn’t because I admit defeat to the two horrible choices they forced on me. I think any citizen of any country has a right to complain and be unhappy rather they vote or not as long as they are involved in other ways patriotically. You are not a patriot because you vote or are born in a country by chance, not by choice. I like to think rather it is how hard you speak up for your rights, beliefs and how much you are involved in keeping your country on the right track. If Americans don’t like the options (which trust me a lot of them don’t) stand up and fight. Or just roll over again and we will see if it gets better in the next 4 years. The choices are getting worse so I wouldn’t hold my breath.

      That is just an example ;o

      1. Thank you so much for your input. With the greatest respect I have to disagree. Politics is not about choosing your ideal candidate – it is about choosing the lesser of two evils, however hard it is – even if it is only by a smidgen. I believe it’s essential you put in the hard yards and really examine the facts to find out exactly where you stand on all the matters that affect us today and then decided accordingly. My feeling is millions died for the right to vote – we should honour them by doing so. Trumps voter suppression and disinformation campaigns are aimed at generating exactly this kind of sentiment and it’s heart breaking as an outsider looking in to see. That aside the way I see it Biden is in orders of magnitude a better choice for the people of America and the world then Trump is. I believe in honesty. I believe in fact. I believe in science. I believe in human decency and respect. I believe in equality. I believe in freedom. Voting is a way to stand up and fight for those things. I’ll add that as a pilot I like my aeroplanes to be flown by pilots, not politicians. Biden isn’t going to set the world alight but I posit that good governance should be boring. It shouldn’t be a reality TV show. It should be about listening to professionals regarding their respective fields which he is willing to do far more of than Trump. If I catch COVID I’m going to see a doctor not ask Trumps advice on how to deal with it. His actions have cost thousands their lives. That alone is enough for Biden to get my vote. I agree that the political system in the states is broken – I dislike 2 party democracies because it forces you to choose a side that is either black or white when there is only grey. But Trump is a threat to even allowing Americans that choice in the future. As a man who has seen first hand what robbing citizens freedoms does to a place – living here in Hong Kong – let me tell you I would give my left arm to have America’s political system in place here right now. I agree we need to fight for radical changes to the political systems in many modern democracies – the states especially- but we need to do that so we can save them. Not voting is definitely not the way to do that. That’s a form of indifference and silence. In my eyes it’s a form of shirking responsibility. The point of my most is that exactly this attitude is what will and is hurting our freedoms the most. Voting is the very foundation of what it means to live in democratic society. You gotta get out and cast your ballot. Just my 2 cents worth and listen, I completely respect your opinions and thoughts. I’m merely voicing mine. And I’ll finish by saying that it takes courage to speak your mind. To have the debate. To not live in our own political bubbles. We need the conversation above else. So we can all move that little bit closer together. I wish you well friend. Thanks for stopping by and adding to the debate. 🙏

      2. You are free to disagree with my opinion…after all we still have some freedoms right? Even if it is voicing your opinion on a blog post meaningless. I respect you for not jumping down my throat for having a difference of opinion. Most political opinions end up in arguments at some point, it is just a matter of how constructive they are or if they don’t get nasty.

        I have to disagree politely…You as American citizens should have better choices. Saying picking the lesser of two evils and that is just the way it is not good enough. Your country was founded on it will be run by the people and I am reminded on a very regular basis just how free this country is. Well I don’t believe Americans are running their country anymore and when it comes to freedoms most of what we base freedoms off of Americans fall far down the list including freedom of the press. Though Canada my home country when it comes to things like politics etc can just be as shady at times and messy…I had more personal freedoms than Americans have in their country. I had this argument with a coworker the other day and her response was ‘Go to China and see how free they are’ comparing your country to the Middle East or some communist dictatorship country is not an acceptable answer nor should you accept that because before the states fell..and yes they have and they continue too they were suppose to be the example for the world, Of just how great a country can be and how free it can be. But the more powerful they got, so did their government. You don’t have to take guns away to start a dictatorship, in fact that was one of the last things Hitler did. And sure you can say I am Canadian and I have no knowledge of a country I grew up beside and as the world power were far more exposed than any other news I heard about. I get along great with Americans I do and I LOVE your people, but your country right now is very broken. It is actually a very scary place. I even fear for my life after this election is over. A country this divided in a time where you need to be uniting against not just your government but the world’s most powerful governments and corporations is not a good thing. Trump has already came out with his delusional dribble of he has already won when Biden was leading last time I checked, and his party of yahoos is already looking into things like ‘illegal and shady shit going on’ when I was listening on the news I couldn’t even comprehend most of it all I got was Trump is going to throw a tantrum if he loses and not leave office peacefully. Even if there is some shady styff going on…then what? He will get his supporters in more of a up roar than they need to be. You know you shouldn’t even be saying shit like you won before the election is even close to over or being counted….yet we let this yahoo won office for 4 years. Guess he can’t leave without making one last childish remark? The funny thing is some people (outside of the states) actually believed him. I read on twitter people in a up roar about how Trump won and it’s like official. I am like guys votes are still being counted and Biden is leading. I haven’t looked recently as I need a break from the craziness, but yeah.

        Biden is not the lesser of two evils…he is just another puppet. Biden can say how much he loves his country and the people the same dribble every president chants especially in their campaigning. We will see how much he cares when he actually takes office. I expect big changes and if not….Good luck? Let’s just wait another 4 years maybe next time you guys can choose between a dog and a cat…At this point if I was American I would little mail in a ballot voting for my 3 month old kitten saying she would be much better than an China Ass kissing, Delusional to think Americans actually are gonna give up their guns or be for ‘gun safety’ higher taxes old fart and a delusional egotistical psychopath who was never even a successful businessman. It at least would get some laughs? No? Fake ballot 😛 I debated on doing it even as a Canadian Citizen like why not?

        Voting in a way yes is but not when they force two terrible choices on you. The thing is you guys get no say in who gets to be a candidate. They choose for you. It is absorb to think voting for two almost equally crap candidates is freedom or the means of a democratical society. No. Who told you this? This is not what America was built on I promise you. The USA is walking on thin ice. It is hitting a breaking point. Americans are fed up…so if they choose to exercise their rights and push back….the government will have to accept it or get ready for a revolution. I have had very concerning and good discussions with Americans and they are very fed up and tired. Some of them who are very involved with their country and very intelligent, but cannot bring themselves to vote anymore because it is not doing anything.

        Corporations has their money in presidental candidates pockets before they take office…yet somehow presidents run a county? Corporations run America now. But my point is it USE to not be this way. Americans need to get their country back. Lying down and accepting the lesser of two evils should no longer be an option.

      3. I just re-read my comment….perhaps I was a bit harsh and for coming? So before you go all sideways at me trust me I have spent time in your country and before that the disadvantage of being the world super power your country and it”s politics has been exposed more than anyone else’s. So you have that kinda against you. I do not hate the states (I use to be very anti American as an angry know it all teenager and didn’t know nothing about anything…yeah I admit it) I was all like eff America, Canada is better. LOL. It’s not btw. Like anything it depends where you go too. It also depends on how you like living, your needs, or what not. Both countries have their stereotypes and most are not true about either. Although Canadians do secretly fight each other with hockey sticks when no one is watching as we pretend to be the most peaceful and nicest nation. Jk jk.

        If you noticed something in my comment…I don’t think Biden is the right choice for the populous of the USA because of his far left beliefs. I am a leftist, can be labeled as a socialist, liberal whatever you wish to label me as….I believe Health Care, food and shelter is a basic right to every human being. I don’t even believe we need to pay for it in taxes. Our governments can afford all this shit for us free of charge. USA could have national health care and very well afford it much like Canada and it would be successful. USA should probably stricten their gun laws as a SHORT term solution until they get their gun violence somewhat more under control. It would not stop it full stop, but it is a quick fix to lessen it than what it is now. I obviously know better than to think gun safety is going to save us from gun violence. It will not…There is a combination of reasons for gun violence and why it is so rapid in the states that stem far deeper than as simple as Americans have too many guns and lacksadasicle rules. Some include poverty, ignorant and lazy parenting (meaning a government should not have to tell you to keep your guns away from children or angst teenagers especially if you have raised them to be a piece of crap) but in this country it seems they may have too. So better parenting is yes a better solution. Raise those kids and keep an eye on them. Pay attention to what is going on in their personal lives etc. That will stop school shootings. Paying attention to are you raising a sociopath etc….you get the point? I also cringe when Americans tell me “I have a gun because my neighbor has a gun’ I cringe when I hear people making jokes about trespassing and shooting people. Some are not joking. More guns is not the answer to peace. Why and how someone walked into that movie theater dressed like they were ready to go to war was also questionable. Knives can kill people yes….but automatic weapons can kill a lot more people. Why are they legal? Do you seriously need semi automatic or machine gun to kill someone breaking into your house in the middle of the night or to go kill a deer? Just the mess alone…YES I question the second amendment. But that is not my point. My point is the second amendment is there for a reason. Americans have far different beliefs than what I have and I respect those Americans for embracing and having those beliefs. So why are they all of a sudden rolling over and voting for a guy who is against all this shit? The Democratical party failed this campaign when they failed to give a message on how they plan to keep Americans safe. They also failed to share how they will get American jobs back unless we want to go work in China sweatshops tbh. If people want to know why some people still voted for Trump and did last election is because his message was what Americans want to hear. ‘I will keep Americans safe, I will get your jobs back and we will make America Great again’ or some chant. Democrats have actually failed for years to get such message across. Almost like they can’t swallow their pride or know a strategy to do any of the above. I am all for national health care, but guess what? Most Americans are not and are very against higher taxes. Americans don’t believe ib saving a bum on the street or a poverished child. I do because I just believe it is a basic human right. I don’t expect anyone to agree with my beliefs. It is why I am so confused in why we are going with Biden. Further more…Obama tried a better health care system and it failed because the white house is so fucking confused in who is in control and the deal got changed and passed around a million times before it was accepted to leave office that it didn’t even make sense anymore and that is why it is failed. It did not fail because Obama did. Obama was complacent enough to let other parties and those involved make a deal. What we saw from Obamacare was not at all what Obama actually had visioned. Again because Americans don’t want nationalize health care and those that do are few and far between. The USA is not a democratic al country, it is a republic. I may have been raised differently but that does not mean I have the right to storm into your country and question your insane gun laws or anything else just because I disagree with them or fail to understand them. My husband is a gun supporter, especially in these dire times in the states and we entirely disagree on such topics. It makes for great dinner discussions. xD But Americans have a right to believe what they believe in.

        I was actually surprised that in my opinion Obama was the last decent president that gained the respect from both sides in a long time. He was not liked at first, but over time people grew a liking for him. Some of it was though he was a great spokesperson. Even then…Obama was tied to a lot of shady shit, but least he wasn’t entirely evil or deranged. Plus he was nice to listen to. 🙂

      4. Hey friend. I’m not going to get all sideways on you. Nothing about what you have to say makes me angry. They are just opinions. The same way nothing I say should make you angry. They are just my opinions. And no – don’t ever think you shouldn’t speak up or not voice your opinion. You are welcome here. 100%. I hope you can see that I’m interested in having the conversation- a dialogue – a respectful debate. What I’m not trying to have is an argument. In my eyes that only serves to strengthen respective positions and deepen the divide. None of us need that right now. Anyway I completely understand your frustration with the system- we all do. I’m simply saying, as my post tries to make the point, that we need to fight for those changes. We need to fight for our freedoms. We need to take responsibility for them or we may lose them. One way to do that is to get out there and vote but it’s certainly not the only way. Getting out there and protesting or campaigning for the changes and the people you believe in. All good stuff. But sitting on the sidelines and complaining achieves nothing except to fuel anger, mistrust and hatred. Trust me – I’ve been there and done that! You need to harness that anger and use that to make changes yourself. Live with purpose. Be the change you want to see.

        That aside if you can’t see why a man like Trump – the first President in America’s history who is currently trying to subvert the Democratic process – if you can’t see how truly dangerous that is – how much of an attack on people’s freedoms that is – why he absolutely needs to be removed from power ASAP – at least as a start before moving on and then working out how we change the system – then I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get you to see that. So long as you have the right to exercise your choice you must. Because if you don’t you may will lose it altogether and the system could get a whole lot worse. This is exactly what Trump is trying to do. This is bigger than simply disliking Biden. It’s about protecting the freedoms that millions have died for. And let me tell you, they are all turning in their graves right now. Anyway friend I’ve said my peace.

        Let me finishing by saying I agree with much of what you have to say. I also believe in universal health care. I also believe everyone should have a roof over their head and food on their plates. I also believe America needs much stricter gun control laws. Biden stands for all these things and has plans for them. It surprises me that you don’t think he does, but he’s not the problem. It’s the system. A 2 party democracy where each side is dedicated to subverting the progress of the other is why nothing gets done. It’s a massive problem. But as a start – We need to get Trump out the house. He knows little else but how to destroy things, including peoples freedoms. I genuinely wish you well friend. And I really appreciate you speaking up and sharing your opinions. Take it easy 🙏

      5. I completely agree with you.

        What I meant was voting is not the the only way to get involved. That I understand people’s frustrations with the choices and why they don’t want to vote or see no result from it. That doesn’t mean these people are not getting involved in other ways and are truly fighting for what they believe in. Such as like you suggested campaigning, protesting and speaking up. They are not just sitting on the sidelines complaining, they are just fed up with voting.

        I am not sure if I confused you, but I want Trump out of office myself as well ASAP. I never liked or supported Trump, I was appalled when he won 4 years ago and debated if I wanted to immigrate to this country or not regardless if it was cheaper or where my husband lived. I was honestly afraid for the public when he won.

        Biden is not that much better of a choice and some of the things he stands for goes against some of the popular opinions or beliefs, but he is not a delusional egotistical psychopath. I have just never been fooled enough to believe these presidents have Americans best interest at heart, although they may have at times there are times they have to answer to other organizations that disagree with the public’s best interest…such as corporations.

        Biden winning is a quick fix, but not a solution I guess is how I would put it. A desperate attempt or last ditch effort to get Trump out of office, but it is certainly better than keeping Trump in power.

        Yes the steps to change are going to be tough and as citizens they must continue to protest, campaign, speak up, continued to be involved in anyway they can and never back down. The government needs to know enough is enough. No more dividing the people with silly bs distractions, no more brain washing or lies. The people have had enough. It’s good, but scary all at the same time. I truly hear the passion and fire when I speak to people here. It makes me angry for them. I wish I could help, but no one takes me seriously because I was not born here. However, if this country can get their shit together soon I am considering going for citizenship I just have to live here for 3 more years I think or so. Then I have to pass a test that probably a lot of AMericans may not even be able to pass. xD I will make sure to study even more of your countries history and do my homework. I like learning anyways. I just have a really bad memory and I don’t test very well. Never have even in school. But going for it will secure a life even more so for me and my husband, and I will have more rights here especially if I want to consider my future here.

        If USA does not get their shit together however, my husband has already said he will move to Canada. He lived in Canada for a few years with me before I immigrated here and he loves it. He misses it. He as in Canada when Trump won, I remember waking up to the news. His response was “Thankfully I am not home right now.” insert some curse words though. LOL. He didn’t vote though because he was in Canada at the time so I told him he couldn’t complain too much. I am like you are like all those Americans who didn’t bother voting for Hilary thinking it is impossible for her to win. Anyone who did not vote that election was a vote for Trump unfortunetely. Which is why like you said it can yes be important to vote even if you don’t like either choice. What I meant really was Americans deserve better than to just have to pick between the lesser of two evils.

        I agree with you on a lot of points, and I believe we can see eye to eye. I don’t want to argue either and much enjoy discussions. 🙂 Take care of yourself and stay safe.

      6. Thanks so much friend. I understand your point of view completely and thank you for remaking civil in all of this. I wanted to say – to get off politics – my wife is Canadian and I love the country. It’s far from the worst backup in the world! Wishing you well 🙏

  3. That’s very true, as much here in the UK as it is in the US.
    It’s so much easier blaming others for our problems instead of deciding we can fix them.
    I also agree that we have so many different voices and needs and it’s easy to blame without understanding that there are many needs for our neighbours in this world. Realising we have to work with others so we don’t dismiss or crush them is also a responsibility of freedom, and perhaps the hardest.

    1. Absolutely. As a rule for life I say give up blaming. So long as we look to take the moral high ground – to talk from our high horse of righteousness we are part of the problem not the solution. Listening to others is a skill that seems to have suffered in the modern age of distraction- we are all hurt by it. So long as we maintain an us verses them mentality instead of looking at our current predicament as OURS. As in WE did this, not them, whoever it is you voted for, I think we will have issues. The sooner we can think as a collective the better. The world is only growing smaller and more interconnected. It’s no longer good enough to be a proud American or Englishman or Chinese man or Republican or Democrat or Liberal or whatever it it’s anymore – we need to be proud of our common humanity first and foremost. Thanks for stopping and sharing friend. Wishing you well 🙏

    2. It is easy to place blame on others than ourselves. The USA is what it is today because they have accepted it and are complacent. Back in the day, countries revolutionized when they disagreed with stuff. Look back in history and how even people just stood up and fought for their rights for things like a right to vote etc….Sure it may be bloody. There is no such thing as a peaceful revolution, but I do know one thing some countries need one. The USA especially, the citizens keep saying they are fed up with the government, the election today is not even their ideal candidates….so how long will they remain complacent? Instead of dividing, they should be joining forces and revolutionizing. That is just my thoughts though. You don’t see the fire or passion in people anymore like we did before. We are too busy being distracted by things like social media, as our world is becoming a very toxic and scary place to live in.

      1. Interesting perspective. I agree that complacency has definitely had a role to play. But wars and revolutions have often taken place because of desperation and necessity – because others have sought to deny them their freedoms. I think it’s too simplistic to say people simply stood up and fought. I don’t believe a bloody revolution is necessary to implement the changes we need but I fear if we don’t, then bloodshed may well result. Regarding passion – what I see is an increasingly united youth that is willing to fight for their future and the changes required. This has been born of necessity. That passion and spirit you talk of is growing. I believe big changes are coming as a result whether those in power like it or not. It’s their resistance to these changes that will sadly hurt us all the most. Historically periods of massive change has always been marked by hostility. The very increase of which we are seeing today. But those changes have still happened. I believe we need to start embracing our future, not live in fear of it. Doing so means embracing these changes. Anyway it’s getting late here. Thanks for making me think again. I welcome the dialogue. Wishing you well, AP2 🙏

      2. You also have a fair point. I hear the passion and spirit when I talk with people from all countries including the states and back in my home country Canada. Changes are coming, I just hope it is not going to be a bloody revolution, I just fear the worse.

        Call me paranoid, but immigrating here was cheaper and all…BUT my husband and I are working on an escape plan if all shit hits the fan fast. He honestly I think regretting coming back to the states even as an American. I more just miss my family, politics aside I just love Canada more because that is where I grew up. You know? As liberal as they are and free health care is great in Canada, nothing is free at the end of the day. Canada is very expensive. You should have seen me the first time I went just grocery shopping in the states never mind for anything like electronics. Everything is so cheap here, even living is relatively cheaper depending on the area. I want to not just go back to Canada, but to one of the most expensive provinces where I spent my teen years and early twenties, British Columbia. Lol.

        This election kinda speaks for itself that something needs to change fast. The polls are so close because I feel people honestly didn’t really know who to vote for. When Biden is winning states that have not voted Democrat in many years, something is up. I am more scared what will come after especially with it being this close. I was more afraid of how it would happen more so than who would win. If Trump has a shred of doubt this election was illegal or some suspicious activity is going on, even if he has to slightly make some of it up he will. Will he spark riots in those who support him? A country this divided in votes is so scary on it’s own. Either Trump never should have won last election….Even Republicans are going against their own beliefs saying as much as they disagree with Biden defunding police, or messing with the second amendment and higher taxes…they’d rather that over Trump again. That or this country is that divided 50/50 and that is very scary. This is just talking election…My opinion stems far deeper than some puppet who really doesn’t run the show and hasn’t in quite some time. I am not sure where you are from? In Canada corporations cannot pay or make deals with candidates before they take office as prime minister. In USA…corporations do make very shady deals and pay for campaigns before a president is even elected. Corporations is what runs America. The USA was founded on to be run by the people and throughout the years that somehow got lost. Now Corporations and Governments run the people. I am sure that is not just happening in the USA though. They gotta get their country back. I think it could be peaceful, but you have to get the government and other higher ups to see the same views. I just don’t see it budging anytime soon. When Biden was chosen as the best candidate to represent the Democrats my heart sunk. I thought Obama was the last decent president in recent years, and though democrat he had the support of both sides. People did not like him at first, but over time the support for him grew. If Obama had all the power and no ties to corporations or other deals that had to be made in the white house, I think he could have been a lot more successful. A lot of his platforms were effed with. Obamacare I know for a fact was changed a few times before getting the support to leave office. It was not his entire idea and that is why it was so broken. But Biden….No. When Obama won I believe it was the second time around the republicans were a mess, Mitt Romney was a joke. I feared the same this election and was a little shocked to see numbers rise for Biden. I guess I wasn’t all that crazy about thinking Trump is a delusional egotistical psychopath. I didn’t believe one could be that bad. That maybe somehow it was just my lack of judgement. But if we knew he was such a crazy dude, why did he win last election? Did Americans just want to sit back and watch the entertainment? Like yeah sure let’s see what happens…what is the worse that could happen. That and the lack of votes as well. Every person who said Hilary wouldn’t win and therefor why bother voting was a vote for Trump.

        All this aside, let’s hope for peace after this election because if some crazy shit happens I am moving my butt back to Canada with my liberal friendly neighbors who apologize when they disagree with each other. Jokes we are not that nice, but yeah you get my point. 🙂

        I agree with you that changes are coming, it is just a matter of how those changes will come.

  4. Hi, AP2, and glad you jumped on in to posting, and what an interesting subject! Freedom and responsibility feel to me like two sides of the same coin, but perhaps I am in the minority (again, alas). One of my favorite playboys of the Western World was Benjamin Franklin, who wrote in one of his Poor Richard Almanacs when speaking of responsibility versus freedom, that freedom of speech goes hand in hand with freedom of the cudgel. This might be applied to all so-called freedoms, as they all require the prudence to acknowledge the consequences of uncontrolled expression thereof. All of them carry the shadow of the cudgel, which really does sound like the name of a metal band. The consequences of anything now seem to either lack teeth to make a difference, or are so cataclysmic that to pursue said freedom would be the act of a suicidal maniac. All or nothing? Does age make a difference here? Perhaps the old are cynical and the youth are feeling hopeless, and who could blame either of them?
    I suspect I am teetering on Overthinking, agghhh!

    1. Ha no problem – I believe this is the whole premise of PO! I love the dialogue and thank you for making me think. I actually wrote this one a while back but wanted to share with readers here on PO today of all days. Something to think about while lining up to vote right?

      I had to look up cudgel to know what it means. Love the word! I think that maybe people mistake freedom with entitlement. Like I’m entitled to believe that global warming is a hoax and continue on my path of blind destruction. But that is the exact opposite of what it means to take responsibility for your actions and I would posit – as a result – is exactly that kind of behaviour that is eroding our freedoms. If not our own then our children’s, which is worse.

      It’s a great point that freedom requires understanding the consequences of our actions. It does. It’s exactly why I believe honesty must be the gold standard by which we measure our leaders. If people believe it’s ok to do whatever they want they will.

      But I’m not sure about the all or nothing debate. I believe in grassroots movements – I think these things change the world. We shouldn’t expect the change to come from the top – it won’t. It will come from our children and their shared sense of responsibility to each other and this world. This will be what buys them more freedom in the future.

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. I enjoy the chat! Wishing you strength and peace in the days ahead, AP2 🙏

  5. This is a great piece. Thank you for posting. I am a huge believer in personal accountability and not giving my power away to others. I am always surprised when people look toward leaders to essentially be parental. How can they expect to live a happy life unless they take responsibility for their actions meaning they are responsible for their successes AND their failures(opportunities for learning).
    Great read on and incredibly appropriate today. Thanks!!

    1. Absolutely- couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately I feel like many of these people will never take on those responsibilities and always feel the need for a leader to dictate their narrative. Right now they need a leader (parent) to teach them about the fable of the boy who cried wolf. (Or in this case maybe it’s the boy who cried no wolf). Thanks Danielle. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I wrote it a while back but thought today would be a good to share it here on PO! Side-note – I like the way you look at failure as learning opportunities.

  6. I love everything about this post. I love the quotes. I understand the desire to give up responsibility. I refuse to exchange the pain of responsibility for my freedom of choices and it’s consequences. It’s how I learn. It’s how I create. It’s how I know I’m growing.

    1. Thank you Angie. That means a lot. The desire is very much to sit on the couch and binge watch NETFLIX 😂 – but as you point out, this kind of behaviour ultimately restricts your own freedoms down the line. I wish you strength and peace in the days ahead 🙏

      1. I shared your blog post on my page… I think there are many of us who feel the same… we just are not the ones making all the noise! … to busy working, living, creating, being in the world and in our communities!

      2. Thank you Angie. I’m flattered you shared my thoughts. Living your life is the most important thing. Being part of something. Being part of a community. We must live our lives today. Stay present for it. It’s easy to get sidetracked into politics and world problems out of our control. Each moment is precious and deserves our full attention. Wishing you well, AP2 🙏

  7. “I wonder if many of us don’t actually want the level of responsibility that comes with having to choose our own fate? Perhaps this is why so many of us prefer to be told what to do? Perhaps this is why so many of us choose not to think for ourselves? It’s too uncomfortable.”

    I feel compelled to answer these questions, that need no answer at all….
    I would actually ask not ” …IF many of us…” but “…WHY many of us….”. The relationship between freedom of choices and being accountable and responsible for the results is very direct. And as the results are not always certain, it is easier to give away the freedom to external structures (employer, society, government, church, science…) that have become entities on their own, powerful and almost untouchable.
    So, WHY are we so afraid even of mere idea of being uncomfortable, no matter if it´s about choices and the results of those choices or getting wet in the rain? (I notice that people are withdrawing when it comes to the possibility being uncomfortable even a little bit also on the level of being exposed to a bit of rain or physical exercise.) Why are we so afraid all together? And why don´t more people use their own head?

    Why do we need a structure to have power over us in order to feel better/ safer/ calmer/ stronger?
    Why are we afraid to feel the rain on our faces of be out of breath?

    Leaders knew this 2000+ years ago; “Panem et Circensus” being an example of it. So, what did change…? Nothing as long as there´s netflix and chips 😉

    I enjoyed reading this post, felt good to see there are like minded people; be less alone in my observations of the world, as I see the same things for years now.

    Should anyone be interested in some inspiring pages on this subject, I recommend Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm, here some quotes to get you started

    1. Excellent points well raised – I try to bring up topics of conversations that are difficult to think about for this reason. The deeper levels of happiness and meaning that so many of us are desperate for comes from confronting the struggles in front of them, not avoiding them. So long as we run away from shame for the sake of our pride – to protect our egos, we will always have big problems. Comfort is most definitely the enemy of growth. Thank you leaving you well reasoned thoughts – I’ll be sure to look into that book. 🙏

  8. It’s really amazing here…I am in need of a producer from every part of the world to produce me from scratch and I promise he will have a share of his sweat on me…

  9. This reminds me of the distinction made by Erich Fromm on freedom from (negative) and freedom to(positive)

    “Man, the more he gains freedom in the sense of emerging from the original oneness with man and nature and the more he becomes an “individual,” has no choice but to unite himself with the world in the spontaneity of love and productive work or else to seek a kind of security by such ties with the world as destroy his freedom and the integrity of his individual self.”

  10. When it comes to working for someone else, I like to know what I’m doing and the end point I’m working towards. Hence, management positions in a corporate environment very much aren’t my thing. I had such a position for six months and felt like I was floundering most of the time I was in it.

    However, when it comes to writing fiction and music, I enjoy pursuing new ideas and seeing how far I can take them. I am by no means the most radical writer or musician, but I know I like the freedom to choose the ideas that I put down on paper. The difficulty here is finding a way to make a living out of it. Not necessarily by earning money, but being able to live while doing more of these lifegiving activities than other, less mentally encouraging activities.

    Thank you for sharing and encouraging the sharing of thoughts.

    1. Some people work for the money. Others for the status. Some for power. I work for freedom – so I can do the things I want to. I once heard a quote, “Do the things you have to so you can do the things you want to.” As a general rule – the harder you work, the more responsibility you take on – the more freedoms that are afforded to you later on.
      Cheers Hamish. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙏

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