To my friends–

One of my friends sent me this quote from Christopher Renstrom some time ago that I thought might be of interest to you.

“Bravery is not for the squeamish. It doesn’t visit the perches of the privileged, the ruts of the tried-and-true, the furrows of the formulaic, or the fat cats who have grown obese with complacency.    Bravery is for those who are willing to bet it all on a future that hasn’t been written yet. . . if there was ever a time to jump off the treadmill, to take a chance on something uncharted, or to paint on the largest possible canvas–then it would be now.”

On this President’s Day, I invite you to take a chance on liberty, not freedom, LIBERTY!! There is a subtle yet profound difference between the two. One of the definitions of freedom is being exempt from obligation or discomfort. Liberty offers no such guarantee. It is all about obligation. It is all about the assumption of responsibility to make this country better than it is. I believe that this involves more than just voting. It means becoming actively involved to protect what others have paid so dearly to win.

Liberty is a terrible responsibility. It would be so easy to surrender it to political elements who promise temporal security if only . . . Yes, if only. Benjamin Franklin once observed that people who exchanged liberty for security would have neither. I believe in the power of non-violence. So did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. So did Gandhi. I believe in the power of reason, goodwill, and compassion. President Lincoln told us in the middle of the Civil War that we had to think and act anew to save our country. I believe this to be as true today as it was then.

Our road has been long and hard. As long as we are working with the crooked timber of human imperfection, this will probably always be true–but we MUST keep trying. Be brave! Say yes to the language of hope and no to the language of hate. Be brave! We can get bitter or we can get busy. Our choice. Be brave!

Your friend in Liberty,

Mark Holland