Regarding the dancing protesters at the Jefferson Memorial recently (video below), while I can completely understand everyone’s frustration at the situation and how it went down, I think it provides an opportunity to explore a change of pattern. I can understand why ruling that people can’t dance at a national monument where they should be most able to express their freedom of speech. I can understand understand the irony (or possibly hypocrisy) of limiting a citizen’s movement and expression in a place that was designed to celebrate the principles of life, liberty, and happiness upon which this nation was based.
I can also understand the frustration of the police officers who are sworn to uphold this law, causing them to shut down the monument for a while and arrest young people for doing little more than moving to music. I can understand the frustration of the tourists who came to see this monument of American freedom, but instead became witnesses to what some call the formation of the police state in United States of America. From every angle, this event should incite us to address exactly how we are living out the principles our forefathers set before us and amend our ways for the highest good.
The unfortunate reality is that we have come to a point where our society feels it necessary to pass a new law every time something in the world around us doesn’t agree with our fragile sensibilities or makes us uncomfortable, regardless of how the law will restrict the freedom of others. For the free thinkers, the ones who have historically provided the out-of-the-box thinking that has allowed society to progress as it has, this becomes a great challenge. Visionaries are called such because they see beyond the limited thinking habits that the majority of the population entertains. However, when the visionary’s activities go too far beyond the understanding of the public conception, the public, afraid of what it doesn’t understand, often passes a law to ban the visionary’s progress.
How did we get to the point where when someone does something we don’t like or draws us out of our comfort zone in the way that we don’t appreciate me, albeit in the way we might actually need we create a law to secure ourselves from further discomfort? Why can we not recognize this discomfort as the growth of our soul as it is? Could we not, instead of coming together in this democratic system to assure that things don’t happen, we used it to ensure that things happen? What if we as a people could rise to that level of humanity that allows people to be people, however strange or deranged we may think that they are, and limit our use of law to provide conduits for the progress we actually seek instead of the digress of personal freedom?