I was up late last night, watching dramatic fireworks in Newton, Massachusetts. The night was hot and the fireworks spectacular. What a show! With fireworks and gatherings we celebrate our freedoms and the overthrow of the British dictator, King George the Third. He was not viewed as a dictator by the British, but by the American colonists.
What made King George III a dictator? He and the British Parliament gave the American colonists no say in policies that directly affected their lives. Therefore, the colonists took their lives into their own hands and declared that they were independent from dictatorial British rule.
Then, they had to fight for that independence. They endured hard fighting, and painful losses for month after month, season after season. Months became years. The colonists were inexperienced fighters at war with a fully trained, well financed army. The colonists were fierce and they knew that their dreams and their lives were at stake. As we know, the colonists prevailed.
We too need to fight our dictators. We may need to fight for months or years. And who might our dictators be? They are the old patterns that sap our energy and cause us to be asleep. We are unaware of how old fears, old greeds, old angers can jump into our driver’s seat and take over our lives. We can spend years running after stale dreams and incoherent wishes. To win our freedom we must be brave, we must face our fear of emptiness, we must move beyond our old family scripts and discover what is true now. We must leave behind some old familiar comforts and the old familiar discomforts head into the unknown.
That is what our freedom fighters did in 1775, and we can too.