Deep fried freedom: don’t take it for granted

As Americans, there are two things we treasure above all else: deep fryers and freedom. Considering the obesity epidemic, I think don’t think anyone’s going to forget about deep fryers anytime soon. But freedom might be another story…

We’re lucky enough to live in a time when literally everything is possible (Unless you were born prior to 1800 – if that’s the case, go back to washing your periwig you old fool.) There are no limits to the new experiences available to you or the knowledge you can gain (there’s also no limit to the varieties of food you can deep fry.)

Yet what do we do? Wake up, go to class, take notes, and be attentive. Then we take the bus home, talk to no one, and hope we’re not getting chlamydia from the seats. We stop at cross walks, even if there are no cars coming. We don’t ask what’s behind doors with “do not enter” signs. We play it safe. We don’t run risks. We do our best to be who we’re supposed to be, because that’s what we’ve always been told to do.

But who decided what we’re supposed to be, anyway? In the words of Henry David Thoreau, “any fool can make a rule and any fool will mind it.”

The point is – instead of just doing what you’re told (or what’s been shown to you by example,) why not ask “why?”

For example: living smack dab in the middle of hyper-conservative West Michigan, all of us have witnessed encountered those people who devote their lives to the service of a faith they aren’t really passionate about. I’ve also seen alcoholics go sober and become some of the few genuine religious teachers I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. The difference is one of those people is a follower, and the other made a choice.

The point is – whether you want to swear your allegiance to Jesus, Allah, The United States Government, yourself, or Kevin Bacon’s likeness imprinted on an actual piece of bacon, you should make the decision only because you believe in the cause. Not because some external influence told you if you don’t, you’ll spend eternity in hell watching the third season of LOST over and over and over again (at least that’s my image of hell.)

I guess what this article really is, is a challenge to do something new, to ask questions, and to have the courage to follow your own beliefs.

Oh, and it’s also a subtle hint to lay off the deep fried foods. They’re not helping your hips any.

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