Preserving freedom is no easy task. Many lives have paid the price for the freedoms we enjoy. But we Americans, and many in the Western world take freedom for granted. It behooves us to remember that repressive governments dominate most of the world. And we do well to remember why freedom is such a fragile commodity.
What’s necessary to preserve freedom? Remove the incentives for governmental overreach and control. It’s really that simple. But in a character-impaired age it’s certainly not a given. Governments will always want to take control when they can’t trust their citizens to manage their own affairs justly. And that always means curtailing individual liberty.
The American “Dream”
This week and weekend American’s celebrate the freedom to govern our own affairs. Our society was founded on this simple principle: leave decent people alone. If they’re free to pursue their dreams, they’ll inevitably prosper. They won’t just prosper themselves, they’ll foster prosperity for their community, too. But as our founders knew, the whole idea only works when the majority of citizens possess a proper moral compass.
Every year at this time I post an article on the interdependence of freedom and character. I do so because I know (from years of counseling experience) how much character matters. And I know how important preserving freedom is. That awareness is what inspired me to compose a song almost 21 years ago today. It’s a song I’ll be sharing with you again today, and hope you’ll share with others. Happily, more concert performers than ever will be spreading its message about our country’s true greatness.
Real American Greatness
America’s enjoyed some very different times. We’ve had times of shame, to be sure. But we’ve also had times of true greatness. And that greatness has never resided in our military might or our economic prowess, both of which are second to none. No, our greatness has always depended on the character or our people. Everything depends on character. Our families, our businesses, our communities, indeed, our government, all depend on people not only embracing but also living out our best ideals and principles. The very survival of freedom depends on character. Every existing impingement on our freedom stems from our inability to trust one another to do the right thing anymore. Sadly, our rules and laws can’t save us. We have millions of them on the books already. And we clamor for more every day. Why? Because long ago we lost our collective soul.
I’ve devoted my whole professional career to advancing the cause of character. That’s true for my training workshops as well as the numerous articles on this blog. It’s also true of my books In Sheep’s Clothing, Character Disturbance, The Judas Syndrome, and, How Did We End Up Here?. But perhaps the most unique way has been to inspire folks through song.
Anthem for the Millennium (“America, My Home!”)
As I mentioned earlier, just about 21 years have passed since my first musical composition. The melody haunted me day and night for almost 7 years before I finally wrote it down. I was more than a bit apprehensive. You see, my voice is the only instrument I have ever been able to play. So, I didn’t even feel qualified. Still, I felt compelled to get the message out. This can, and has been a great place. And preserving freedom is our most noble cause. But freedom comes at a price. It demands sacrifice. And perhaps the greatest sacrifice next to surrendering one’s life is living one’s life with real integrity. In our character-impaired age, that’s no small challenge.
For Independence Day weekend, please enjoy my Anthem for the Millennium, or “America, My Home!” I’m posting a not so often viewed HD video version of it. I wish the images expressed its true sentiment. Perhaps one day I’ll have the resources to put the right story line to it. It’s not the fighter planes or the missiles. And it’s not the monuments we’ve built. It’s the mother who works all day and still finds time to nurture character in her children. It’s the father who gets up at 5 am to help feed his family. And it’s the women and men who lend their time and energies to the needs of their community. These are the people who make it all work. People of good character. They make America great.
Please enjoy, and please share: America, My Home!
You can find this video on YouTube also.
See also: Freedom’s Survival Depends on Character