A Conversation with Liberty

on . Posted in Articles by Brent Johnson

by Brent Johnson

Brent:    It is a genuine honor to be sitting here speaking with you today. I must admit, though, that you seem a bit peaked. Are you feeling ill, and is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable?

Liberty: Thank you for your kind words. I am feeling somewhat sick today. Actually, I've been feeling sick for quite some time now. Each day the symptoms appear to get worse. I am honestly not sure if I will survive this illness. However, there are several things you can do to help me. If enough people pitch in I believe that my condition will improve. With enough help I may even be able to acquire the cure, which is very expensive.

Brent:    If I may be so bold, what is the matter with you?

Liberty: I am starving. If I don't get nourishment soon I may die.

Brent:    Well, why didn't you say something earlier? I have a refrigerator full of food and drink; you are welcome to eat to your heart's content.

Liberty:    Thank you. However, I need more than food and drink to survive. I have certain special needs, requirements without    which my health will continue to deteriorate, until there is nothing left of me. Already I am a semblance of my former self. Let me try to explain my needs more clearly, then some of your readers may have compassion for me and help me to get better. I have been around for as long as life has graced the earth. All living creatures, with the good graces of my dear friend Nature, roam the world freely and by so doing, help to support me and keep me healthy. It has only been since what you call the "dawn of civilization" that I have become weak and sick. In most cases, the societies which human beings have built around the world are based on economics, that is, having things, rather than living in harmony with Earth, Nature and me. The result has been that some among your people have things and others do not; therefore, by your way of reckoning such matters, some of you are better than others. Frequently, those who have things believe that they have the right to control the actions of those who have fewer things, or nothing at all. This has resulted in creation of a hierarchical structure in which one man (or woman) rules others. This is the disease that has made me so sick.    You see, it is in the Nature of all living things, including human beings, to be free. Each must determine how he (or she) will live his life; what risks, if any, to take, what challenges to overcome, what lessons to learn. And each must accept the consequences of his actions, and take responsibility for his choices. This is the way of things. Some 220 years ago a small group of men decided that their natural rights were being repressed, and themselves subjugated to the will of others, in direct violation of the laws of God and Nature. These brave souls overthrew the tyrants who would subject them to their own will. When this occurred, and after thousands of years of roaming the world, I believed that I had finally found a home, a place where I could rest from my eternal wandering. Please understand that I am a world traveler, and just because I settle down in one place does not mean I no longer care about the rest of the world. I am always looking to help people, and I go wherever I am invited, regardless of the time or expense of the trip. But with the birth of the united States of America I believed I had finally found a real home, a place where personal freedom and Liberty were held to be higher principles than money, power, position or politics. I felt that I could rest, knowing that I was held in the highest esteem. I felt like I had a place I could call my own. And I was healthy.

Brent:    I don't understand. I hold you in high esteem. I value you. Everyone I know values you. What has happened to make you so sick?

Liberty: Over the years people have come to take me for granted. Oh, I know that there are some who still value what I have to offer, but it seems they are too few and far between to make up for the ongoing drain on my system, perpetuated by those who constantly want to take from me without giving anything back. Most people seem to think that just because I live in this country, they can call on me whenever they want and I will come running. Well, that can get tiresome real quick, and I have been dealing with it for over 100 years. One of my dearest friends - Thomas Jefferson, who understood my value and would have given anything to help me to survive - expressed his concern that over time people would forget the value of Liberty and become complacent and lazy. He actually suggested that the American people stage a revolution every 20-25 years, so that they not lose sight of the precious gift he viewed me to be. He was always so respectful of what I had to offer; I truly miss him. Throughout your history, there have been men and women who were willing to lay everything on the line - their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor - to preserve what I offer freely. Today, it seems that anyone who stands with me is reviled, often called a terrorist, racist, extremist and the like. How do you expect me to feel? Why do you think I would feel any different than I do?

Brent:    I must say that I am feeling terrible about all this. Isn't there anybody out there willing to love and honor you? Doesn't anybody care? Don't the people understand your value?

Liberty: In all honesty, some do. They are the ones who are willing to risk anything and everything to help me to get better. They are the ones who would sacrifice their own lives so that I may live. They are the ones who understand that without me, their possessions, position, education, along with the things they own, are meaningless. They are the ones who teach their children about me, who would rather bequeath a land of freedom than a vault full of riches to their progeny. They are the Real Americans, regardless of where they live in this world. And the truth is, they are the ones who keep me going. If not for them I would curl up and die. They give me reason to go on; their hopes, their dreams, their courage promises that my efforts are not fruitless. They offer me hope for a healthy future. Some are rich, some are poor. Some are white collar, some blue collar. Some have white skin, some black, some yellow, some red. Some are male, some are female. Some are old, some are young. Some are Christian, some are Jewish, some are Muslim, some are Buddhist. I salute these great men and women, for they come from totally different walks of life, different religions, different social standing, different economic backgrounds, yet are willing to put aside their differences for their common goal of supporting my principles. I am humbled by these magnificent human beings.

Brent:    Well, I only hope that in some small way I measure up to the standards set by these people. I am committed to helping you restore your health. I will do whatever I can to facilitate your recovery. Is there anything else you would like to say or that I can do for you?

Liberty: You are so kind. I honor you and wish you well. My only request is that you continue to take every opportunity to speak about me; that you never forget me, especially when it seems that I am all but gone. I ask you to remember the scene from Peter Pan, in which everyone was asked to truly believe, and clap as hard as possible, so that Tinkerbell would survive. I am Tinkerbell, and I cannot survive without your undying faith in me. Please believe and, more than that, clap your hands as hard as you can; keep on clapping, even when it looks as if nobody can hear you. Never stop clapping, even when your hands begin to bleed. For I will always be listening, I will always hear you. I will always receive your faith in me. And if you will only allow me to, I will forever give to you and your children and your children's children, such priceless gifts as could only come from God. Thank you so much for your time and caring.


Eulogy for an Angel
1992-Dec. 20, 2005


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