"'Now, look here Squirt. If I've told you once, fish face, I've told you a dozen times, stay where you are! Far better to be a big fish in a small pond than to move into deeper waters that you'll only drown in. It might look good out here on a sunny day like today, but don't let the greenness of the grass of others confuse you. Life out here can be pretty murky and shitty too from time to time, even for a happy-go-lucky chap like me. Better stick to swimming in waters that you know, Squirt'.
Aristotle thought that the basis of a democratic state is liberty, a belief that I wholeheartedly endorse. I have always held the view that anyone who is prepared to give up a significant piece of their freedom in order to remain in their comfort zone and preserve a bit of safety in return, deserve neither liberty nor safety. Where freedom lives, that is the only place I choose to reside. That is one of the main reasons why I choose to remain living in England more than any other country in the world. We are a small country with a big heart and such a large history.
It is true that during past centuries that some of the shine of the country's proud heritage was tarnished considerably with its involvement in the slave trade, yet my own knowledge of history informs me that slavery was a natural ingredient in the economic cycle of all nations throughout the ancient, medieval and recently modern history of nations' development. Indeed; the last country to abolish slavery was Mauritania, where it was officially abolished by a presidential decree in 1981 (yes, nineteen hundred and eighty one!) None of this is to defend in the slightest, the inhumane practice of slavery, but merely to illustrate that from all of the earth's commodities, the most precious and the one capable of demanding the highest cost was never gold, diamonds, oil or even land, but 'the freedom of an individual' enslaved in the economic values of the times.
'Liberty' is so essential to one's self-respect and sense of overall well- being that Nations have gone to war over their desired freedoms since time immemorial, whether the stated reasons of conflict have been territorial rights, land and sea access, who rules here, who trades there, religious practice; you name it and you will probably find that some country or someone once went to war over the issue! Even the United States President, Franklin D. Roosevelt articulated 'The Four Freedoms of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear' in his State of the Union Address in 1941. These freedoms were later enshrined in the treaties that ended the 'Second World War'.
The European Union recognises its 'Four Freedoms' in the Treaty of Rome as the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons. It is worth noticing that the fundamental objections represented in the British division of voters both for or against Brexit are framed within the argument of 'freedom'. The Remainers see the wanting to abolish 'freedom of persons to move from here to there in Europe' as both naturally unjust, inhumane and economically unsound; whereas the Leavers (like myself) concern themselves with what they see as a higher form of liberty, like regaining the freedom to make our own laws and control our own finances, trade and borders. It is all a question of which matter the most to the future well-being of our nation as to which side should have the right to hold the moral high ground.
Freedom is such a precious thing that its importance forms the cornerstone of the social contract of marriage. When we marry, we effectively 'choose' to give up certain individual freedoms that 'single status' confers on us and marry our freedoms in a joint purpose 'to love and honour our wedding partner in sickness and health, and forsaking all others until death do us part'. When one comes to think of this, the union of marriage is a greater undertaking than those four freedoms that were enshrined in treaty after the ending of the 'Second World War' and the 'Four Freedoms' that the British entry into the European Union undertook to abide by.
To end this post, it is also important to understand that giving up one's freedoms is more important than giving up one's life. That is why the supreme sacrifice asked of all Christians is to do what Christ asks and to follow His ways; instead of doing what we want to do. Being a Christian essentially means relinquishing one's freedom of right to do one's own thing; the right to do wrong!
So, better to be a big fish in a small pond than a gutted salmon on the fishmonger's slab? " William Forde: October 2nd, 2018.