Let's begin with our guest author this month, Raymond Bolton, author of Awakening, the Ydron Saga. Here is what Ray has to say:
Freedom is a difficult concept to wrap one’s mind around. It doesn’t refer to things one is permitted to do. The possibility that permission can be revoked implies constraint, and constraint implies license. One who is licensed is on a tether and tethers can be yanked, or tied to something. On the other hand, lack of all constraints whatsoever leaves open the possibility of trampling on the rights or freedom of others, and such acts lead to consequences. Consequences, of course, are tethers. So are laws. And since we live within a society, and society is governed by laws, it begs the question how can anyone be truly free?
Read more on Raymond's website HERE.
As today is July 4, it is appropriate to give thought to the concept of freedom. What is it? What does it mean to me? How does it play into my fantasy novel, Oathtaker?
Dictionary.com defines freedom in several ways including “exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.” and “the power to determine action without restraint.”
Often you will hear children say that they want to be grown-up so that they may do as they please. It seems a common misnomer—that adults get to do what they want. The truth, I think, is that parents restrain their children so that their children will learn what it is like to live within certain restraints when they are adults. We all are subject to external controls—on a constant basis, from the speed at which we may drive, to—well, you get the picture. But outside of those restraints, which we as a society have determined are appropriate through those who govern us (whether or not we like who won the vote), we do have the power to determine our actions. What we all too often forget is that on the other side of our freedom is our responsibility not to impinge upon the freedom of others.
The history of the world is a story of people seeking to be, fighting to be, free. Each person, every age of a nation or people, plays the battle out anew on the world’s stage. Oddly enough, however, even as we try to live free of the restraints of others, we all too often try to restrain others. We do not want our parents to tell us what to do, but we might well like to steer our parents toward doing what we would like for them to do. Replace the word “parents” there with spouse, children, friends, employer, neighbors, government, and you will see what I mean. Now consider what is the cost of your freedom on others. In short, if you act in a manner that causes an expense to another (over which they have no control), then you are infringing upon their freedom.
The idea of “freedom” and the struggle to attain it is a key theme in Oathtaker. The story tells of a special sect of people, the Select, who have carried the words and ways regarding the value of life and freedom down through the ages and to all corners of the earth. The Oathtakers help to protect the Select because, as you might expect, there are those who seek to destroy them. As in real life, those who seek to destroy the Select do not do so because they want freedom for themselves. Rather, they act against the Select because they want to be in control—they do not want freedom for others.
So, on this July 4, as I think on my gratitude for those who fought for the freedom of this nation and her people (my father, my son, and so many others), I will ponder on what freedom is and means to me. I will be introspective. I will ask myself what, if anything, I do that results in a cost to others over which they have no control. Just as I should be free, so too should my family members, friends, neighbors, and so on. Indeed, if we all gave a little more thought to the cost others pay for us, I daresay we would all be freer.
I love the 4th of July. Not just because of the BBQs or the fireworks. In fact, my dog hates the fireworks, and runs to me for comfort. Her fear is a reasonable thing and though she doesn't understand, she points to one of the reasons we send those rockets skyward. The colorful explosions inspire us and are a visceral reminder of the noise and smoke of battle. We oooh and ahhh, but the cannon-loud "duds" that made me cover my ears as a child, while designed to be beautiful, also make me soberly recall those who have gone before.
Read more on Kristie's website HERE.
Freedom... As tough to grab onto as a cloud, but weighty as the earth itself. As Raymond pointed out, it's a difficult concept to pin down.
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." (Nelson Mandela)
Right away we see that freedom does not, cannot, exist by itself . . . .
Read more on Robin's website HERE.
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