I love the 4th of July!
I love fireworks, get togethers & barbecues.
But most of all I love what the holiday stands for: Freedom.
And this year as we approach the 4th of July my thoughts keep circling back to the idea that you can’t have freedom without responsibility.
This idea was first introduced to me years ago when a friend told me about the idea for a Statue of Responsibility.
The Statue of Responsibility is a proposed structure to be built on the West Coast of The United States.
The original idea of a Statue of Responsibility was the vision of Dr. Victor Frankl, a Holocaust survivor who went on to publish Man’s Search For Meaning. In this work published in 1946, Frankl stated that:
“Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness. That is why I recommend that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.”
In 2015 my sculptor friend Gary Lee Price built a 15 foot version of The Statue of Responsibility at Utah Valley University. It is two hands clasped together to represent that we are all in this together and responsible for each other.
Gary, along with his wife Leesa, are working to build the full 300 foot version on the West Coast.
I love the idea that liberty requires responsibility.
We can’t take for granted the freedoms we enjoy.
We share the responsibility to protect, fight for and prioritize the freedoms in our life.
We are responsible to care of and look out for each other.
So this 4th of July I hope we all enjoy the festivities and spending time with our loved ones.
But I hope we also recognize the responsibility we have & step up to meet that responsibility.