By Neil Phillips.
Over 25 countries celebrate their independence in July. Canada starts us off on July 1 and the United States soon follows on July 4. While, as countries, we celebrate our joint freedom, your freedom in your personal world is the core of this article.
The most important freedom—freedom in our thoughts—is one of those concepts that we often don’t recognize. It’s there and we use it. We just seldom stop to think about it. One of the world’s greatest contributors to the importance of free thought was Viktor Frankl.
Viktor Frankl was not an American. He was a survivor of the Holocaust. His book, Man’s Search for Meaning, is considered by the Library of Congress as one of the ten most influential books in America. He understood independence and freedom. Here is what he had to say.
A human being is not one thing among others; things determine each other, but man is ultimately self-determining. What he becomes—within the limits of endowment and environment—he has made out of himself.
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.
Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
When we talk about “unalienable rights” we are speaking of our right to choose.
Whether high born or low we have this right.
Regardless of color or sex or creed, we have this right.
We may not be able to choose our circumstances, but we can choose how we will react to them.
As you exercise your freedoms this month, your challenge is to pause and recognize your personal independence. You can choose your response to life’s challenges.
You have a business. You choose this business as an expression of your independence. Own your choice and grow your freedom.
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