Voltaire declared that it is “difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.”
About 44BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated by Brutus and other Roman senators because they were through with his tyranny. When they had done so, they expected the people to be thrilled to be rid of such a dictator as Caesar but instead, these Roman senators found that the people were angry, because though Caesar was a tyrant, he provided them with protection, food, and entertainment. While we may say, “Caesar was awful, why wouldn’t they have rejoiced to be rid of him?”, we often catch ourselves doing the same thing. Any time someone speaks against something the government is doing, many people tend to defend and justify their tyrannical actions, simply because it benefits them. When people fight against tyranny and for liberty, people get uncomfortable because that is going against what they have been taught.
On a more personal level, there are so many things that surround us that we know can harm our virtue, or harm us physically, yet we still decide to participate in it, disregarding the negative effects it may have on us. Many times, we choose the short lived pleasure over a long time of peace and virtue, simply because it is easier to do so. C.S Lewis taught, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” When we are strong enough to resist taking the easy path that will lead us astray, and instead take the path of virtue, we will rejoice in the liberty that we will receive, instead of complain of the worldly pleasures we have lost. To quote Patrick Henry once again, “Liberty, the greatest of all earthly blessings, give us that precious jewel, and you may have everything else.” Nothing the world can give us can amount to the value and blessing of liberty. It will give us more peace, more strength, and more joy than any phone, tv show, or car. Liberty is truly the most precious jewel, and it is time we treat it as such.