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Wednesday, 21 January 2009

The Price of Freedom

I'd love to read your views on this topic.  Feel free to make yourself heard... Gratias.

Greetings one and all.

I scoured the internet for some of the best quotes on today's motion, The Price of Freedom, and the following statements appealed to me.
  1. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” : Thomas Jefferson , third President of the United States of America

  2. “A desire to resist oppression is implanted in the nature of man” : Publius Gaius Cornelius Tacitus , senator and historian of the Roman Empire.

  3. “If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worst case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.” : Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill , Nobel Laureate, renowned statesman, historian and a former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
Profound statements indeed.

When our freedom is at stake, how do we react? We don't shirk, we don't placate, and we don't send regrets. Instead, we unleash the might of our army, our navy and our air force. Our men and women are placed in harms way; that is the price of freedom and it is often high…

It isn’t enough to desire freedom. Every human being on earth seeks freedom. However, freedom is defined in different ways by different people of differing environmental influences. Freedom means something very different to those who have only known tyranny, as compared to those who have only known freedom. For those who have lived in bondage, no price is too high for freedom. For those who have never known bondage, freedom often has little meaning.

Like life itself, which we assume will last forever on most days - we hardly appreciate freedom or life until we are on the brink of losing it. Then, often only then, do we grasp a deep appreciation for what we spend most days taking for granted. Must it come to the brink before we wise up? If so, I think we are getting close, too close for comfort anyway.

Freedom from something is not the same thing as freedom for something.

I may have freedom of speech, but for what purpose? There may be a free press, but to what end? Freedom without responsibility is misguided freedom at best.

Freedom is about choice. It's about choosing between what we want or makes us feel good and what is true to who we are as social beings and members of a global community. Freedom is about discernment and dialogue. It's about searching for the best choice that fits the truth of what it means to be in union with other countries.

Freedom is not about unilateral decisions or coalitions made up of the strongest military forces. It's about finding solutions to hunger, the spread of AIDS, displaced populations, the oppression of women, and other humanitarian concerns that have little to do with bombs and guns.

The price of freedom must not be limited to the number of lives given or those injured. The price of freedom is about living with less so others may have more. It's about listening when, as a nation, we have become so accustomed to doing the talking. It's about learning to see through the eyes of others before choosing our course of action.

Freedom is a collective movement that assumes a collective responsibility. If we are to find hope in all of this, it can only be through the renewed efforts of the United Nations to recover the unity of the international community and to take a leading role in rekindling the embers of freedom in the truest sense of the word.

Our freedom did not come free, and we know that. This dignity of humanity was earned by others at the greatest of costs. That's right. Earned. And they did not give freedom to us. They merely loaned us this marvel. It is ours only so long as we are willing to guard it jealously, to defend it, and to fight for it. We must constantly pay the price for freedom else it will be ripped away from us, as has happened to so many of the world's peoples of the past and of today.

But what is the price?

The price is caution. We must exercise these rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness very carefully. Whenever our actions begin to usurp the freedom of another person, we are beginning to destroy freedom for all.

The price is vigilance. We must be suspicious of practices that endanger freedom, and. cautious of people who promote such practices. Insidious encroachments will silently strip away our freedom little by little if we are not on guard.

The price is action. We must stand forcefully against threats - move actively against prejudice, bigotry, and unequal treatment of our countrymen. If you and I don't stand up for our rights - who will? But we cannot be hypocritical and consider that only us Indians deserve freedom. We must also be prepared to assist those in other countries. If we really believe in freedom, then it must be a belief in freedom for all people - the freedom for those of all countries to live in the way they think is best.

The price is education. We must study all the meanings of freedom - must learn when to be cautious, when to be vigilant, and. when to act.

The price is blood. We must defend freedom with our lives when necessary. This price bas been paid by many, so that we could grow up in freedom. If we also must die, it will at least be with the memory of freedom's sweetness. And the price will be paid for those who remain.

Sure. the price of freedom is high - in its cautious exercise, in vigilance, and in action - and in the blood of those who would enjoy freedom' s loveliness. But the choice is simple. To live enslaved and die, never knowing individual dignity - or to live - and perhaps die - as a free human being.

Of course, there are a lot other aspects of “freedom” which I may not have touched up on. One of them being freedom from emotionsI leave you to ponder over a very short story. 

Suppose you see a group of children playing on an oft-used railway track. You also notice an abandoned track nearby where a lone child amuses himself. You spot a train coming in the distance and you see yourself vested with the power, nay, freedom to switch the train's path. Will you go ahead and push the switch? Give it a thought. The cost of one life that knew it was an abandoned track over of a group of children..? That one life you probably choose to sacrifice may be one too many, for the track is abandoned, remember?

That said, freedom, from whatever it is, just isn't free.

Thank you.

Oration is something that has always spurred me. Addressing a sea of optic spheres that stare at your every gesticulation is not the easiest of tasks, per se, but I must say I have always enjoyed the prospect of addressing a body of people. After all it is the listener's loss, not mine! *smirk*

Jokes off. 

The Price of Freedom happened to be my last performance as an orator (back in university, March '08). I will upload the audio when I get my laptop fixed. You just read the transcript (of what supposedly was my first and till date only prepared/researched speech) and I really appreciate your patience in reading it in it's entirety.


Keshi said...

**freedom from emotions

Can we ever gain that kinda freedom?


Usha Pisharody said...

That was awesome oration [ I imagines you on the Podium!]; the text was just so complete, and hit all the right notes!

Good work!

Your freedom begins at the tip of my nose.. isn't there a proverb or so, something like that?

Tushar Mangl said...

With freedom comes a responsibility.
A responsibility to respect ours and others freedom.
As usual, Karthik has come up with an excellent work of writing.
Kudos to Karthik
and Kudos to freedom we enjoy

Chriz said...

yes.. that was indeed a serious pick nice one..

and yes upload your speech...

and i respect bush for this one reason.. freedom!!!

obama's change speech and spiritual speech were other examples of it...

Tara said...

By far one of the best speeches I've read! Yes, somehow we tend to value freedom more only when it is gone, and usually, by that time, it's too late...

Do upload the audio waiting to hear it!

"a sea of optic spheres"
Loved that usage! Bravo! :)

Das said...

FREEDOM--It is grossly misinterrupted and abused word where most people speak but don't understand the sacred values. Maybe one need to go through this in life to understand.
Karthk, go through my poems carefully and slowly--reading in between the lines u may find my answer to your lovely oration.

Anonymous said...

You have said it all. There's nothing more to add ;) Post the video soon.

One needs to give away or renounce something to gain freedom. And in the end, what does "Freedom" account to? Bloodshed. I am tired of all this. If freedom is gained at the cost of bloodshed, disorder and cacophony, I wouldn't want it. Of course I am talking about the current status of the world. Take the instance of Gaza strip. One look at the Children who were wounded and I was sick to my stomach.I don't seriously know where this is going to end. The world is a crazy place!

Cяystal said...

Freedom is one when you have the freedom to have mistakes {and to learn from them!}

Originally by MK Gandhi with the part in te braces added by me :)

Akshat said...

I feel so small while commenting to this blog!!

Words are impeccable...and I am speechless!!

Praveen said...

when I strted reading it, I never thought that its a speech..u must have rocked the audience with this..
so many points raised..
waiting for the audio clip

Heart'n'Soul said...

Kick ass material!!!
lookin fwd to the video :-)

Gauri Mathur said...

Hey Karthik..
Nice yarr...
very well written!!

Priya said...

Freedom of peace... is not a choice or at peace anymore. When people part with difference basedon power/ religion.. that freedom of peace becomes an illusion.

Love this piece of writing from your diary...

Kartz said...

Hmmm... We can. May not sound practical today. But it has been achieved. Remember the ascetics of old..? They had completely renounced worldly pleasures. Anyway, that was just food for thought...

Freedom from any fort of emotion, for that matter - anger, remorse, etc. I din't have time to delve deeper. So, I had to leave it with the story.

Thanks for the read. :)

Kartz said...

##Usha ma'am
Gee, thank so much! :)

And yeah; if I remember correct, it goes thus - Your freedom ends where my nose begins

Know what? I should have made that point. But I thought everyone would use it. As it turned out, *none* of them said it! Not even the symposiarch *sigh*

Glad you liked it. Thanks, again! :)

Kartz said...

Thanks buddy...

Kartz said...

Thanks bro'... Yep, racing against time to fix my laptop. :(

Kartz said...

Merci beaucoup madamoiselle. :)

Kartz said...

Thanks uncle; yes, will go through your blog soon!

Kartz said...

Yep, crazy indeed! Thanks for the read. :)

Kartz said...

Heh heh... Clever. :P

Gratias :)

Kartz said...

Thanks, dude.

Why don't you pen your thoughts on this topic? Would love to hear your version too!

Kartz said...

Ha ha! Rocked? Well, may be... ;) Thanks for the read. buddy!

Kartz said...


... And welcome back! :) Yep, I decided to kick a*se. It was to be my last oration back there... ;)

Kartz said...

Gracias señorita...

Kartz said...

Oh so true... Good to hear from you again. Trust all is well.

Thanks for the read madame. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kartz,
Sorry for being late to your blog.. I am not commenting doesn't mean that I am not reading ur blog.. Ur words are too good and also complex and it takes time for me to completely read them and enjoy them .. I always have my dictionary beside me while reading ur poems and articles :)I also love poems much.. I am just started reading... sorry enjoying poem after some 9 years.. so it will take sometime for me to read..

And coming to the topic I can say this a very well written post..
/*Freedom from something is not the same thing as freedom for something.*/ is a wonderful quote which made me to think many a times :) Freedom when not handled properly will become a headache for everybody... we have the freedom to express our views.. so what will happen if don't think straight.. a disaster.. waiting for your video my friend :)

Anonymous said...

'Freedom from something is not the same thing as freedom for something'.. brilliant!!!! it takes a wise man to come up with such a statement and you surely have had the pleasure of finding the route to a path which has now made me sit and wonder....

i think i am not free yet!

Usha Pisharody said...

Karthik, tagged you..! As and when time permits, along with inclination, would like to see your take :) :)

Anonymous said...

This is REALLY GOOD! It's a powerful oration. Reminds me to value the freedom as we enjoy it now. And yes, freedom comes with a price. It had never been free.

Kitty said...

This is REALLY GOOD! It's a powerful oration. Reminds me to appreciate the freedom we enjoy now. And yes, freedom always comes with a price. It has never really been free. I look to seeing the video.

Gail said...

Hi Kartz-

Beautiful words and challenges to all who read and see your peaceful and honest work here. I am sorry for taking so long to write I have been involved intimately and painfully with the death of my brother-in-law. I love him so very much.

About freedom? I believe it is a purpose to be lived with respect and dignity for one's self and others. It is the right to dress as I like, eat what I enjoy, love whom I choose, have faith as I have come to know it, and to honor all life in it's purest form. Freedom does demand responsibility and is quite subjective.
Freedom, for me, allows me to do good and receive good - a balance of you and me.

Love Gail

Kartz said...

Thanks, mate! And yes, you do have a point.

Kartz said...

Thank you for the kind mention. Welcome to Contorted Reality. Hope to see you more often!


Kartz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kartz said...

I am sorry to hear your loss. Sincere condolences.

Thank you for the read.

Peace. Be well.

Lena said...

wow! that was some speech! great!
cant even add or argue about anything :)


Your article is just like a short thesis. I have just read only half of it. Rest I will read later on.

Naval Langa


Cяystal said...

When will you update, Sir? =D

Kartz said...


Kartz said...

##Naval Langa
Please do...

Kartz said...

Soon! :)

Preetilata【ツ】 said...

no words. i am speechless

Anonymous said...

yes words.. where ve you been!

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love the third quote,
and with the recent M'lore incidents, I will tell you:
What kind of "love" works for those who desire no salvation, and would control you and destroy you for their own pride or pleasure? 'Saving by force' is what lies in the roots of terrorism, and the M'lore incident reminds me of it...

That you mayn't agree with them is a fact, but you must defend till the end their right to say so. Taking away freedom is just a form of force. Period.

I would rather that thousands die, than freedom be taken away.

Freedom in concept is well defined, and though men may work based upon their perceptions, rationality is in realising the meaning of this well defined word and fighting for it.

You are wrong about the appreciation of life, its a very genevralsied notion, and I believe engagin nature with activity is a form of appreciation, whatever you DO, IS appreciation in a way. It does not only have to do with happiness, I love it when people are sad, and make mistakes to learn too... though my sorrow exends to those who are not at peace with it.

Freedom is in striving to live for more, for everybody's needs, but your greeds.
Those are our duties...which you have noted, to others.
Its morality to do unto others as you expect them to do to you.
Freedom can make mistakes. This is the Key Fact.

Woah....this is such a provocative topic lol...I just HAD to write all that :P

Matangi Mawley said...

brilliant!! loved this- freedom frm smething s not the same as freedom for smething.. gr8 writing!!

n the quote.. "resistance.. " 2nd one.. reminded me of- "non-resistance is also a form of resistance.." :)

Richa said...

"And they did not give freedom to us. They merely loaned us this marvel."

applaudes for tht line..

n yes i wanna break free too!!

Richa said...

"And they did not give freedom to us. They merely loaned us this marvel."

applaudes for tht line..

n yes i wanna break free too!!

The Solitary Writer said...

brilliant glad u wrote abt it....gr8 ..i guess i missed many things bro.....sorry for nt being here * sobs * a nice and serious topic bro

btw blog updated

Mona said...

brilliant post... strong and inspiring thoughts...can imagine the response this oration must have brought you... a big round of applause for those marvellous thoughts... you rock!!

Sameera Ansari said...

I was wondering if it were some kind of speech and yes it is!Though I am normally not one for listening to orations,this would surely have captured my attention had I been there when you made it :)

I agree with every word!


Sameera Ansari said...

P.S. Here's to many more such wonderful orations in the future :)


Kartz said...


Kartz said...

##seher's shenanigans
Right here. :)

Kartz said...

Good thing u did... :P


Kartz said...

Thanks buddy... Welcome back! :)

Kartz said...

Go for it! :)

Kartz said...

Thanks boss... Welcome back! Yep, will drop-by soon!

Kartz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kartz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kartz said...

Thanks a mega-ton for the kind mention. :) Yeah, it was received well, thankfully! ;)

Good to hear from you again. Trust you aced your exams...

Peace. Be well.

Kartz said...

*bows to the applause*


Si_Lee said...

Nice ... though you missed the most crucial prices one has to pay for freedom ...
1) giving up ego ..
2) Forgetting I
3) Endurance
4) making it a PRINCIPLE..

what you spoke of, I would say beat around the bush of these basic traits .. you hinted at them while i would have chosen to cite them ...
but then thats your style ..

nice one .. a lil long though ..
btw do you know .. as far as my memory goes I was the only orator who never used quotes in his speech ...

as far as that story goes .. it's a predicament and the judgment well .. there will be many other factors that play a role other than the mere idea of freedom to save a life or n lives ... the most important one according to me there will be a simple math followed by a heavy guilt which ever option you choose .. so really i dont find it apt ..

Kartz said...

##Towards reclamation
It would been awesome to have you speaking that day, man. Too bad...

And well, that's precisely why I ask your opinion on this, dude. :) Ha ha, it was long but yeah, being a pretty fast speaker, dint have much problem. No, I didn't make it sound gibberish either. ;D

Thanks bro'...



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