October 30, 2013
Once Upon A Time
By Tammy Derouin
Happiness isn’t a guarantee, it’s a pursuit. We once understood that life, liberty and the pursuit of Happiness were self-evident truths that were endowed to us by our Creator. We understood that these were gifts from God, not the government.
America was the land of the free. It was a land that provided individuals the freedom to pursue their dreams with minimal government interference. As time passed, the people unwittingly recreated a monster. By turning to the government for help instead of taking responsibility, the once minimal monster became an overgrown beast.
Once upon a time not that long ago, in a land very near, people lived free. They controlled their future. Freedom allowed them to succeed as well as fail. Failure taught the people that they could pick themselves up, brush themselves off and start all over again. Lessons learned could eventually provide the individual with even greater success than what was originally imagined. But with freedom comes responsibility.
Over time, the people forgot their responsibility. They grew accustomed to their freedoms and began to take them for granted. They no longer understood the harsh reality of life beyond the walls of their exceptional kingdom. They had forgotten the anguish that previous generations suffered under oppressive rule. Many died to ensure their liberty and many have died since, protecting the kingdom from the beast. It was all but forgotten.
As each generation grew further from the past, it became easier to befriend the beast. It appeared to have been tempered and offered so much hope. Complacency had set in and the people grew indifferent. The beast watched and waited. They began to employ others to protect their sacred gift. It was a costly mistake. Many regions had been left defenseless. The beast had infiltrated their kingdom.
The people had gone so long without checking those they employed; they no longer recognized the beast which was now standing before them. The beast knew if the people were divided, the kingdom could be conquered. The people turned on each other, blaming everyone but themselves. The beast craved control and thrived on the discord it created. They attempted to appease the beast by chipping away at their gift. The beast was never satisfied and always wanted more.
The people had long since abandoned their God; the one who had given them their gift of life and liberty so they could pursue their happiness. They abandoned their basic, fundamental beliefs. Over time, their foundation began to crumble. The people, who were once very independent and resourceful, began to turn to their new god, the beast, for answers and assistance.
The people stopped teaching what made them exceptional among other lands. The beast had once been conquered, but they no longer cared as to why. Each generation knew less about their history. The sacrifices made by those before them were no longer understood. The reasons to be vigilant were no longer being taught.
The kingdom fell into darkness. There was much suffering and despair. The strongest, most prosperous land among nations, collapsed. The kingdom was shattered. All the citizens’ resources and all the citizens’ good men; couldn’t put America back together again.
The people finally woke up and realized the beast had never been tamed. In fact, it was much stronger and more dangerous than prior encounters. It wasn’t a friend but an enemy that grew from within. It had disguised itself with charming qualities and colorful myths. But the people discovered that life without liberty doesn’t allow happiness. Once something so precious is gone, it isn’t easily returned. It was however, worth retrieving.
A great awakening had occurred. They realized the beast only wanted their gift and promised them anything to obtain it. Freedom is a gift, but it’s a fragile gift. If it isn’t properly cared for, it will self-destruct. Many sacrifices were made before the beast was eventually conquered and once again banished from their kingdom.
To commemorate such a significant moment, several people gathered to create a document that would protect the people from a single entity with too much power. They wrote, “WE THE PEOPLE of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union…”
So as most fairy tales go, evil is overcome by good. But we aren’t living in a fairy tale. We are living in reality where at the moment; we are capable of deciding our future. Will we chose freedom or enslavement? Will stories one day be told that make our once reality sound like a fairy tale?
Our flag is falling and our Constitution is being shredded. Are you willing to stand up to the beast?
“A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”
The Declaration of Independence