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Some Thoughts on What Liberty Means to Me | #IndependenceDay #July4

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

Methodist credo attributed to John Wesley

What Liberty Means to Me
I can’t choose what other people do;
. . . . I can only choose what I do.

I can’t choose what other people say;
. . . . I can only choose what I say.

I can’t choose how other people act;
. . . . I can only choose how I act.

I can’t choose how others treat me;
. . . . I can only choose how I treat others.

I can’t choose what others believe or how they worship;
. . . . I can only choose what I believe and how I will worship.

I can’t choose how politics influences society;
. . . . I can only choose how I might have an influence on society.

I can’t choose whether other people are angry;
. . . . I can only choose not to exacerbate that anger by becoming angry myself.

I can’t choose who wins elections;
. . . . I can only choose to educate myself on candidates and VOTE.

I can’t choose others’ morals and ethics;
. . . . I can only choose how moral and ethical I am.

I can’t choose what others do with their bodies, their lives, their careers, their homes, their families;
. . . . I can only choose what to do with mine.

I can’t choose whom others love;
. . . . I can only choose to love others.

Anger Is a Gift . . . But We Don’t Have to Accept It

It is said that one day the Buddha was walking through a village. A very angry and rude young man came up and began insulting him. “You have no right teaching others,” he shouted. “You are as stupid as everyone else. You are nothing but a fake!”

The Buddha was not upset by these insults. Instead he asked the young man, “Tell me, if you buy a gift for someone, and that person does not take it, to whom does the gift belong?”

The young man was surprised to be asked such a strange question and answered, “It would belong to me, because I bought the gift.”

The Buddha smiled and said, “That is correct. And it is exactly the same with your anger. If you become angry with me and I do not get insulted, then the anger falls back on you. You are then the only one who becomes unhappy, not me. All you have done is hurt yourself.”

from http://fakebuddhaquotes.com/fake-but-not-fake-the-art-of-storytelling/

Why did I quote something from a website that has “fake” right there in the name? Because it goes so well with what comes before it. And because it goes so well with this quote:

Let love be without hypocrisy. Avoid what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:9-21


True liberty can be found only when we stop trying to control and make choices for others and we concentrate on making ourselves the best, most loving people we can possibly be.

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