Sunday, February 5, 2017

Hierarchy of Being

In the United States, we talk a lot about being free. The truth is very few people are free. People have obligations to their spouses, their life mate, their significant other, their children, their employer, their creditors, etc. Anytime you have an ambition, you lose your freedom. Since most people are not free, what do we mean when we say “the land of the free?” Of course, that implies the rules you live by are different in different places. That is a fact. They are very different from one locale to another.

Freedom in the United States means freedom from government oppression. That is all it means. Every law that is passed reduces our freedom. Every single law reduces our freedom. Most laws make sense because they protect us from each other, other parts of government, corporations and a myriad of other things. Laws are created by people who think they know which freedoms we are willing to cede to government. One reason we have a lot of stupid laws is because lawmakers stay in office so long, they become arrogant. They place themselves above the laws they make for other people.

Have you ever thought about what you consider your personal governance? What is the hierarchy of laws, rules or guidelines you are willing to live by? How do you decide what is most important?

Here are a few of the many things available to consider our personal hierarchy of being:

Human being – natural rights
Etiquette -- good manners – social norms
Religious laws – religious doctrine
Federal laws
State laws
City ordinances
Social justice
The environment
School rules

I generally think of being a human being and having natural rights at the top of the list, but some locales, some types of governments and some religions do not see being a human being at the top of their hierarchy. Governing bodies can enforce their rules, but they usually do so within in the framework of the social norms in their locale.

Right now, in this country and around the world we have people in the streets trying to change the hierarchy of being for everyone. Many people think their personal beliefs take precedence over the law of the land.

Is the hierarchy of being changeable in different situations?  Is it okay to display different behaviors at school than you show at home? Do you act different when you are with your friends than you act in public?

We may get to the point that anarchists force each of us to choose a side. Think about what guides your life and lifestyle and how much of it you are willing to sacrifice to satisfy people that see the world differently.


  1. I will be giving this some thought. It can get very confusing to define freedom. I will post an example of how confusing it can be inspired by an interview I saw with one of the women marching in Berkeley recently.

    I remember the first time we had a conversation about defining freedom. It was around 25-30 years ago. I still do not know how to define freedom. I know one thing for sure. I am grateful I was born in the U.S.A.

  2. Freedom means "Nothing left to lose."