“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace– but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry
One of my favorite books growing up was Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes. I have lost track of how many times I read that book over the years.
Secretly, I was in love with the Johnny archetype.
But more importantly, I was fascinated by the concept of something worth dying for.
Now, as a grown up, I find this ideal much more elusive.
There a lot fewer things things that I consider worth laying down my life for at this point. I am jaded and suspicious and very interested in self preservation. As a kid there was a lot of black and white in my life but now, gray reigns. No one wants to die for gray.
That being said, I don’t know what I would have done, who I would have been, had I been alive in the late 1700’s during the American fight for independence. Which side would I have been on? Each fervently believed it was in the right after all.
Would I have fought or run?
Should I even worry about this?
In the end, I am blessed to be living here in the US, given the alternatives. I can practice medicine, even though I am a woman. I don’t have to worry about getting stoned to death…unless I moved to Denver. I can drive, even if I am not really great at it. I can believe what I want to believe without being hanged.
Of all of the amazing places I have visited or still want to visit, I am glad I get to come home to this place. There is no where else I would rather live.
Except for Scotland. I could totally live in Scotland. Bagpipes and kilts. That is another archetype I am in love with. I don’t even mind haggis… Seriously.