Thought for the day: Freedom, 150 years later.

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“I have always thought that all men should be free; but if any should be slaves it should be first those who desire it for themselves, and secondly those who desire it for others.”

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Abraham Lincoln spoke the words above in 1865. He lived just 30 more days. Although he only made it to 56 years old, he out lived the institution of slavery in the United States.

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An iconic black and white photograph of a bearded Abraham Lincoln showing his head and shoulders.

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In the photo above, Lincoln is 54 years old. Most Americans believe that he was much older, based on his appearance. Although conflict and stress aged him terribly, it could not break him. He had will power, and the ability to withstand hardship and hatred without altering his purpose nor deviating from his path.  He was the ultimate proof that qualities of character are more important than any other factor in determining the value of a human life, and what can be accomplished with it.

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150 years after the end of the civil war, with physical slavery vanquished, most Americans would proclaim they live in freedom. While they enjoy possibilities others can only dream of, a reasonable person can point out that more subtle, but pervasive systems of control, pacification and subjugation confront the individual today; a consumer driven society with an indifference to smothering personal debt; Celebrities and personalities used to expunge our memory and understanding of real heroes and champions; Declining educational standards combined with the end of journalism as our parents knew it, leaving most people unaware of issues, and hardly capable of expressing their objections.

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Yet, I remain optimistic because I have great faith in the individual, acting of his own will, in the interests of himself, his family, his neighbors and this country, can still accomplish many things of great importance, even in the face of powerful forces that wish otherwise. I have no grand plan nor path, only a simple, powerful observation: When an individual creates an aircraft from his own mind and hands, and flies it with skill and control to a destination of his choosing, he is expressing his ultimate belief in the dignity of the individual and his ability and right to determine his own value. -ww.

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About William Wynne
I have been continuously building, testing and flying Corvair engines since 1989. Information, parts and components that we developed and tested are now flying on several hundred Corvair powered aircraft. I earned a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics and an A&P license from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and have a proven 20 year track record of effectively teaching homebuilders how to create and fly their own Corvair powered planes. Much of this is chronicled at www.FlyCorvair.com and in more than 50 magazine articles.

2 Responses to Thought for the day: Freedom, 150 years later.

  1. Harold Bickford says:

    Part of the protection of such freedom is the exercising of that freedom. When we are participants our vested interest becomes a powerful counter to those who would insist on contrary actions. The caveat of course is that such freedom is practiced with responsibility and with due regard to the welfare of the neighbor.

    Now off to the shop………………

    Harold

  2. Sonny Webster says:

    Well said William.

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