July 09, 2008 Now that we've celebrated our 232nd birthday, we as a nation have re-examined our birthrights. Though 232 is not exactly ancient when it comes to national heritage, it means we also are not an infant. We are old enough for some introspection. We've listened to the peal of that damaged symbol of our freedom—the Liberty Bell—and heard the familiar words "Let freedom ring." And, as children will, we've stuck a toe over the proverbial line to test the boundaries, to see if they are still in the same place—to see if they still mean what they were designed to mean.
It's not like we're the first to ask questions—to seek clarification—or the amendments would probably not have been drawn up to shore things up a bit. Actually, even the amendments were added after the original drafters were no longer around to define their intent. But I've been hearing that there are resources available for the digging which would give an excellent overview of the logic behind the careful drafting of the original document beginning with the words, We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union....
Likely—well, not likely—for sure, we've not all been hearing the bell from the same place. Our perspectives are different; and part of the freedom we experience in this great, though definitely not perfect, country, is that there are built-in check and balance systems. While it's true the landscape has changed dramatically, tomatoes and roses will continue to fulfill their destiny more fully with trellises. And parameters. There are, as there should be, parameters in place, to do what guardrails do along mountain trails.
So let the chime resound, and let us be about the business of figuring out just what that sound of freedom means, and what the reverberations will be like.