The brilliance of Henry

Patrick Henry is credited with the line, 'I know not what others may choose, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.'

Those words were true during the Revolutionary times, as they are during any struggle for freedom, because without freedom our soul suffocates.  As popularized in Good Will Hunting, Henry Ward Beecher opined '[L]iberty is the soul's right to breathe and, when it cannot take a long breath, laws are girded too tight. Without liberty, man is a syncope.'  A syncope is someone given to fainting spells, or as I read it a zombie.

To synthesize the two previous statements, without liberty, man is reduced to a zombie, the walking dead. So it would seem that Henry is spot on, for without liberty, man is dead already.   


  1. I have felt skeptical of Henry's exclamation. Let me place myself in his shoes. Do I really want to die rather than be ruled by the British empire?

  2. The expense of having somebody else take care of you and decide for you is the loss of knowing what you really are made of and what life really is about. It's a muted existence, though comfortable. You can't apprehend the truth unless you live real life and have the freedom to choose and suffer, i.e. liberty. The truth is what is paramount. Only it can set us free.


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