Now more than ever I believe each of us must learn how to stay above the political fray to get very clear again about what it means to be an American, and what America means. Many of us are alarmed at what seems to be the loss of our ideals – those principles of truth and goodness from which our country emerged. Philosopher Jacob Needleman, in The American Soul, offers that the people who helped form our democratic government, cherished by the whole world, were animated by big ideas—ideas that are at the basis of all the world’s great wisdom traditions. Needleman argues that what our country was founded upon is the right of every person to seek self-knowledge and to develop their character and life guided by the values of duty, hard work, compassion, and community. Liberty did not mean do anything you want; it meant the mental and spiritual “space” to develop your highest good, your highest purpose. It comes with a lot of responsibilites but it is the “elixir” of the spirit, the source of meaning and thus the fount of hope without which we cannot persist.
What is your definition of liberty? Please share with us here….