Balance freedom with responsibility

My mother was a homemaker. She made every old ranch house we lived in a comfortable home, which usually was not easy.

She also was a neatness freak. Dishes were washed immediately after each meal — no waiting till later allowed. This was before automatic dishwashers, understand.

Also, all beds were made first thing after rising, and sheets, etc., were washed each week. I chafed under those rules, and looked forward to the day I lived elsewhere and wasn’t held to them.

In due time my wish came true. I went to college, and lived in the dorm. That was my chance for liberty at last. I no longer had to make my bed each morning — woo-hoo! I didn’t have to hang up my clothes, either. Another woo-hoo!

Each night at bedtime I shoved my clothes off the bed onto the floor and climbed in.

Freedom was great. However after a couple of months my bed smelled weird, and I couldn’t find any clean clothes. That’s when I realized my mom was right about all that, and one Saturday morning I got busy. Lesson learned.

I’ve been thinking about my personal liberty/responsibility education as I read about a proposed project suggested by scholar Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) in his book Man’s Search for Meaning. His idea was the Statue of Liberty on the U.S. east coast should be supplemented by the Statue of Responsibility on the west coast.

Frankl, a Jewish Holocaust survivor, wrote of his discovery during that horror: “The salvation of man is through love and in love… love is the ultimate and the highest goal to which man can aspire.” The SS could not destroy a person’s spiritual domain.

His thought was “… freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.”

The non-profit Statue of Responsibility Foundation is managing the project. In 2005, it was announced that sculptor Gary Lee Price of Utah was selected to create the 300-foot statue.

Price’s prototype is a pair of clasped hands oriented vertically, symbolizing the responsibility that comes with liberty.

The Foundation intends to incorporate these elements of the Statue of Liberty into the Statue of Responsibility: erected on an island, total height 300 feet above ground level, internal access to an observation deck on top, located in the harbor of a major city, and eventually offered as a national park.

Wouldn’t it be great if the ones who end up being in charge of Egypt understand these precepts? Liberty, to be worthwhile, must be accompanied by responsibility, and man’s salvation is in love.

A big woo-hoo to those!