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17Apr/190

Our Dreams of Freedom

Posted by Nate

To be free? Free from what?

Image result for dreams of freedom cartoon

You are not free from eating. We all have to.

But we would like to choose what we eat

We are not free from breathing.

But we would like to enjoy it. To choose the air we breathe.

We are not free from our bodies but we would like make the best out of it.

Are we free from love?

Most creatures have to love.

But we would like to make a choice. Of who and how to love.

Are we free from desires?

I don’t think so. Even if we desire freedom it is still a desire.

Even if we understand what freedom means.

Is nature itself free?

It is not. All living things strive to survive. Why?

Why are we all trying to survive?

Are we free to choose? To not survive?

Yes we are.

But if we choose freedom to make a choice to not live.

We die.

Are we free after we die? We will not know.

Is there freedom without us knowing, appreciating it?

So we have freedom to make choices in matters that we do have choices.

But is it complete freedom?

Or are we trying to make the best choices in life because we don’t have freedom not to make choices?

So what is life but a set of choices we have to make, even if it’s a choice to be free?

It is all in our mind.

You and only you can decide to be or not to be.

You are free if you feel free.

But we all have to make our choices.

Are you free?

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Viktor E. Frankl

14Jan/125

I don’t wanna, but I gotta

Posted by 00tj8jh3

 
this coulda been me

I don’t want to be composing this blog, but I am.  If I was born in Utah, I'd probably be a Republican, a Mormon, and a Romney supporter.  Thank you, Mr. Silverman.  "Makers" please admit you were fortunate.

In response to a friend's request, I just read the New York Times Article, "Big Study Links Good Teachers to Lasting Gain." http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/06/education/big-study-links-good-teachers-to-lasting-gain.html?_r=1  The article summarizes a scientific investigation which concluded that kids who have had the luck to be taught by "good" teachers, have increased earning capacity, more college degrees and a lessened chance for teenage pregnancy.

Since I worked as a teacher in public schools for 20 years, and I brazenly consider myself a "good" teacher, this article made a great read. You ask, how do I know I was a good teacher?  Well, parents, administrators and lots of students have said I was, and I immodestly have decided to concur.  Note:  Accolades will be sent on request. 

Though, this article made me puff up a bit, obviously, I know that there is a lot more to becoming a successful, good human being than having a good 7th grade science teacher. Where you are born, who your parents are, your DNA, every life experience molds us into who we become.

If you were fortunate to have had the right genes, lived in the US and had a basketball coach for a dad, you might be Michael Jordan.  If you had had George Romney for a dad, you'd most likely be a Mormon and a Republican.  Personally, I'd prefer to be Michael than Willard (aka Mitt).

I don't want to get into a discussion of self-determinism and free will, but since, I have no choice, I strongly concur with B.F. Skinner's words as follows:

"In the traditional view, a person is free. He is autonomous in the sense that his behavior is uncaused. He can therefore be held responsible for what he does and justly punished if he offends. That view, together with its associated practices, must be re-examined when a scientific analysis reveals unsuspected controlling relations between behavior and environment"

I thank and blame my life experiences for making me who I am. Thanks Mom and Dad.   Likewise, a bit of the good stuff about me is due to my 7th grade science teacher.  Thank you, Mr. Silverman.

Apparently, many in this country sincerely believe that each person decides who he/she is  and what he/sh will become.  They believe that individuals are solely responsible for their success or failure.  If you are a billionaire, it is because you earned it.  If you are a panhandler on the mean streets of Dubuque, you earned that too.  Take the credit! You did it or you blew it.

It is the belief of this writer that if we are affixed to an immutable concept of self-determinism, we lose our empathy, our compassion and the impetus to help the less-fortunate.  Note; the word "fortunate" itself conflicts with the concept of self-determinism.

Recently, a well written comment was posted on Facebook in reference to my last blog, The-Makers-Takers-and-Fakers.  It read,

"We see Obama supporting equal outcomes and not equal opportunity.  That is a loser for everyone in the long run."

To this I respond as follows:  Opportunity is not opportunity unless people have had events and people in their lives to enable them to take advantage of opportunity.  Open doors are not enough to assure social mobility.  We gotta do more.

Interactions between humans affect humans.  I wish there was a Mr. Silverman out there to help the "makers" of our society look into their being and credit all the people and events which enabled them to be "successful" and then see what they can do to enable others to a good life, or perhaps they just want to live in gated enclaves.

Ya Gotta Earn the Key

Posted By Matt 1/14/2012

   
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