Gifts and Inherent Duty

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read. – Mark Twain

I may have blogged this quote before, but it bears repeating.

I believe our human lives are an amazing gift.

We have an amazing opportunity with our human bodies, brains and minds.

I will admit that I don’t always make the most of the gift that is my life.

But I am sure to circle back the Truth of it and renew my efforts to make good on the gift, and the possibilities (as many times as necessary… ).

One way to understand it is to look at how 2nd, 3rd, 4th – and so on – generation Americans waste the freedoms and opportunities that America offers (myself included… ).

When you look at what newly immigrated and naturalized citizens say and do upon getting the chance to live and work here, it’s amazing – and a stark contrast to how many (native-born) Americans live.

It’s almost, or sometimes, like what a dolphin might do if given a human brain and communication tools. I’m pretty sure the dolphin would live an amazing – and admirable – life with its new capacities and capabilities (while retaining its wonderful dolphin-ness).

Perhaps a more useful example is someone whose hearing is restored. While perhaps overwhelmed at first, they revel in the added dimension of experience that being able to hear confers.

My point (and I believe I have one… ) is that living in a free (albeit imperfect) country requires us to both enjoy our freedoms and (continually) earn them. We earn them by: being active and engaged citizens, helping others to rise up and employing our gifts and talents in the service of our goals, and the goals of our communities.

Just as there’s no point in being literate if we refuse to pick up a book and read, there’s no point in being free if we’re going to be lazy.

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