A New Birth of Freedom
The discovery of what is important to live for can be achieved by the process of elimination.
Ask yourself what you’re willing to die for, or alternately, under what conditions and circumstances would you rather be dead than alive? Or, a third alternative may be to ask yourself what you’d be willing to kill for.
The maxim, “I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees” is a hint in that direction.
The Ukrainian people are now in the crucible that forges the unalloyed steel of basic human values. Home, country, family, freedom; these are the things worth killing, and if need be, dying, to protect.
It is the sentiment revealed in the classic Patrick Henry declaration, “As for me and my family, give me liberty, or give me death.”
It is echoed in Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address. With the fighting in Ukraine in mind, consider these last sentences.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
These sentences touch on universal and timeless principles. Decades can go past during which we may forget — or become distracted by our ease and abundance. But at periodic interludes, mankind is given the opportunity for a new birth of freedom.
Those opportunities—when freedom is born afresh—chart the true progress of humanity and…