Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. – Martin Luther King, Jr.
Photo from the Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain.
The Facebook notification came early Tuesday morning; subject read: “Random….”
Here is the message I received Karri Renfro Jones …
Hi Steve! Today’s blog was especially relevant to where I am in my journey. I know this will seem to come out of left field, but I just wanted to tell you how much I love reading your weekly blog!
I met you at ChartMark at such a crossroads in my life and I was so inspired by what you do. You played a role in helping me find the courage to break out of my securities/financial shell and take a road that was so foreign to me yet so much a part of who I needed to be.
Thank you for doing what you do and continuing to inspire me on a weekly basis!! (Emphasis added)
Random is good; good to give and really good to receive.
Gratitude is good; good to receive and really good to give.
Thank you, Karri!
Who will receive your “Random” message?
If you are reading this the day it posted, Tuesday, May 31, you know yesterday was Memorial Day here in the USA. To champion the real Story, here is a reminder regarding Memorial Day…
Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates men and women who died while in military service to the United States. First enacted to honor Union and Confederate soldiers following the American Civil War, it was extended after World War I to honor Americans who have died in all wars.
Indeed, Memorial Day is tied to the American Civil War … four years of bloody, devastating warfare endured before the surrender of the Confederacy. Slavery was outlawed everywhere in the nation.
Memorial Day is to remind us of the difficult and costly story of conflict and freedom.
It also became…
Like so many things, without diligence, the history of the story can be lost or re-directed.
Begun as a ritual of remembrance and reconciliation after the civil war, by the early 20th century, Memorial Day was an occasion for more general expressions of memory, as ordinary people visited the graves of their deceased relatives, whether they had served in the military or not. It also became a long weekend increasingly devoted to shopping, family gatherings, fireworks, trips to the beach, and national media events…it became what it is to most today, the start of summer vacation season.
How was your Memorial Day weekend?
[If you have 5 minutes, here is a video posted by Antonie, “Psalm 23 Memorial Day Tribute”.]
Both Karri’s story and the origin of Memorial Day in the United States of America invite us to pay attention. Here’s what I hear –
The Life in Random Gratitude
Expressing gratitude is both a sign of character and powerful ; even when random. When I asked Karri for permission to share her story she responded,
I don’t mind you using my name! This really made me realize it is important to take time to let people know how they influence our lives and/or decisions. It is so easy to not do anything – it felt good to take action!
Who will you honor? Who has had an influence on your life? When will you pick up the phone, write the note, send the email or flowers or schedule the coffee…? Random may just be perfect timing.
The Connection of Responsibility and Freedom
In my storyabout finishing my new book, I used the phrase “I’m stuck” as I wrote to my copy editor. However, accepting responsibility and taking action set me free. Listen again to Karri’s words –
You played a role in helping me find the courage to break out of my securities/finance shell and take a road that was so foreign to me yet so much a part of who I needed to be.
Love it … find the courage to break out and take a road.
Courage has to do with our ability to face something without be held back by fear or deterred from action.
Freedom came as Karri accepted personal responsibility and started moving.
Freedom is liberation from slavery.
Freedom is deliverance from restraint.
Freedom is boldness to act, in spite of fear.
Freedom requires courage and courage engages us in conflict with the enemy, the resistance.
Karri’s story serves as another reminder: when you are stuck if you accept personal responsibility and take appropriate action freedom will follow.
Indeed, Karri opened Tippie Toes of Broken Arrow to better live out her purpose and passion.
Where do you need to accept responsibility?
What if … ?
Please share your comments below.
Personal note: I was born in 1954 and issued a draft number for the Vietnam War. However, draft numbers issued in 1972 were never used to call for induction into service, because the last call was December 7 and authority to induct expired June 30, 1973. So, while I was issued a draft number, I did not serve in Vietnam. May God bless our men and women in service today and may we remember the cost of freedom.