A man leaves his momma's house and sets off on life's journey. When he's nineteen his way seems so sharp and clear... He's not going to follow the way everyone else has gone by God! He's going to carve his own trail. Make his own tracks.
An old man steps off on a journey, his intent to erase the years of diversion, distraction, misdirection, manipulation and mistake... He rebukes himself for years of buying into the lie and the phony game, only to fall prey to the same false game that claimed the others... sheep led by judas goats.
Each steps off sure in the knowledge that he has a clear eye. Fully aware of the wind he is running against. Both stride confident in the knowledge that they now recognize the source of that wind and can walk away from that which they each revile, whenever it shows its face.
The winds rise around both of 'em. The dust clouds their eyes and storms obscure their goals. The paths they follow drift unnoticed from the trail they'd set out on. Their attention is concentrated on the never ending struggle against the unceasing wind. One day they stop to catch their breath and look up; each from where his eyes were focused so hard in finding purchase on the trail for his next step...
... their eyes widen, touched by a short sensation of panic. All is strange yet weirdly familiar.
Slowly recognition begins to dawn. Stunned they drop heavily to sit in the middle of the path. Eyes wide they sit, mouths hung open in astonishment. Each shifts his gaze from behind him to what lays before... and back again. They slowly sift through their confusion until the cold reality works its way to the top and becomes undeniable.
Young and old, they'd blindly returned to the very place they'd set out to escape from. They'd unknowingly been herded full circle right back to the beginning.
Society doesn't like resistance. It abhors diversity and asymmetrical, outside the box thinking. True independence is a philosophy it pays lip service to yet has a deep seated revulsion for. Thought outside the proffered doctrine is punished with ridicule. Adherence to accepted mores and philosophy is rewarded with ever more regimentation and demand for obedience.
Finally the light of anything new is choked off by the sheer weight of the height and breadth of the wall of grey sameness and all opportunity for change is extinguished.
New ideas are acceptable only if they are old and well worn ideas.
Society has a sadistic ability to camouflage its lust for control under the perception, the facade... of Freedom; while it applies just enough unseen force and pressure to slowly, imperceptibly turn the most dedicated bunch quitter full circle and back into the herd. As the fisherman applies pressure to his line to wear down and land his trophy catch, society applies unceasing pressure to wear down the ideas of individual freedom that find space to germinate in a man's soul.
While it may allow a man to think he has escaped the assault of those who would rule and use his life... it waits. Patiently, omnisciently, maliciously, pressure is applied; family opinions, economics, arbitrary and arduous regulations, the seemingly unrelated comments by strangers falling out of a blue clear sky...
... but chips every one. Chips taken from the foundation on which he stands and placed one at a time in the growing burden surreptitiously loaded on his back during the storms...
It is that burden that blocks the path ahead. It has them sitting dumbstruck, confused and betrayed. It is the very same burden both thought had been thrown down and left behind.
We are all skillfully handled to be our own jailers.
The Defense of Freedom... the preservation of Liberty is a task that can not be performed one time and then forgotten. It is an ongoing labor.
You must brush a horse before each saddling. You must constantly check and recheck the status of your machinery to ensure that it is ready when needed.
As with life, Freedom cannot be supported by a single act. You most continue breathing with each step. As you must constantly breathe through every moment of your life, the Defense of Freedom must occupy in some way, part of everything you do, from birth to death.
You can not serve a tour in the army and then say; "OK, that job is done. My Freedom is won" and put it on a shelf. To survive, Freedom must occupy a conscious place in every moment of every day of your life. To survive, Freedom must be Lived in. It must be exercised or it will surely perish from apathy.
The old man and the boy... sit for a time... side by side. Then slowly, resignedly... determined and unyielding they stand... look at the blockade ahead... slowly they shake their heads with a smile of understanding... turn, and walk away...
...With a fresh recognition of and appreciation for their Freedom they strive to lift up every fiber of it.