July 4th is a good day to write about freedom. People with normal hearing are free to hear and listen normally. We hear like we breathe, without thought or consideration. But people with hearing loss are not free to hear normally. Noise, age, disease, genetics, or drugs may have taken what was once taken for granted. Hearing loss for most people is a slow and gradual process. It doesn’t hurt. There are no dramatic sign posts along the highway of life that point to the problem. The first manifestation may be frustration and weariness at the end of the day; frustration from mishandled communication and weariness from all the efforts to understand.
Loss of freedom in the U.S. has also been a slow, gradual process, and the evidence is also found in a frustrated and weary nation. Rules and regulations, whether at the local, state, or national level shrink the scope of freedom that once flowed broad and deep across the land. I suspect that the writers of the rules see need for them, whether because of a desire for power over their fellow man or perhaps for a better reason, because they see virtue and character ebbing from the people.
What the rule writers may fail to realize is that no law or regulation has the power to establish and sustain a just and free nation when virtue and character are gone. I have not given up on this country; it is still the best on earth. I still hope for this land, not because of who might win the day in the struggle for the presidency, but because there are still people who pray.