Personal Freedom – Business Freedom (Veteran’s Day)

boots on  the groundIt seems appropriate to honor military veterans on this day here in America, because Veteran’s Day is about giving tribute to veterans of foreign wars. The military has long been the most admired political institution in American life, and for good reason: it’s the military we can thank for our freedom as Americans, for without the veterans who have fought to protect that freedom, it wouldn’t be there to enjoy. And why did they have to fight?

Wherever freedom exists, in any form, there is an ideology lurking nearby, seeking to destroy it.

Freedom is gained by suffering, and just as a society finds freedom by struggle and sacrifice and sometime death, an individual finds freedom through similar trials. No one is truly born free. People are made free. And they are made free by defeating slavery, as slavery is as natural to the human experience as the desire to live. Wherever you go in the world, whatever society you study, whatever people you investigate, you will find one overall common thread: if they are what most would consider a “free” society, they have necessarily had to fight to gain and keep that freedom.

Military veterans have given us freedom by sacrifice. Sometimes that sacrifice was a leg, sometimes an arm, maybe an eye. Other times that sacrifice has been a deep emotional scar. And often that sacrifice has been a life. There is no greater evidence of love and commitment than sacrificing one’s life and well being for others.

As Thomas Jefferson once said: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

A society is first made free by the sacrifice of the ones who fight to protect it. But a society remains free by the sacrifice of individuals on an ongoing basis. It is the daily sacrifice of denying oneself that brings about the greatest freedom of all, for no greater slavemaster ever bore the scourge than our very own selves. We are the slave of the master of our own choosing. Just as a society must engage in constant battles to keep its collective freedom, as individuals we must engage in ongoing warfare to keep our own persons free… from ourselves. Thomas Paine wisely said, “Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”

I believe business has a striking resemblance to all other areas of life. Business naturally follows the principles and precepts that govern life in general: investment and returns, sowing and reaping, giving and receiving, honesty and trust… As business professionals, we can see the emanations of our personal choices played out in our business endeavors, and we can see the life that we personally lead is reflected in the companies we run. As such, the personal pursuit of freedom is reflected in our business pursuit of freedom as well.

Decisions made on a day to day basis for the running of business dictate what our business will look like today and down the road. Decisions of how to communicate, how to rectify wrongs, how to work with competitors, and many others are key ingredients of our business’s life and future. The keen similarities between personal life and business can be seen in the Bible, wherein Christ uses examples of trade in agriculture and investment to illustrate Scriptural truths. King Solomon, in his well known Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, likewise uses concepts of business to strengthen his teachings on wisdom of life.

America’s second president, John Adams, a prolific author and highly educated statesman and key player in the war for the independence of the colonies, said this concerning business:

“All the perplexities, distress, and confusion in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.”

John Adams understood the vital connection between the nature of business operations and life in general. He grasped the truth that to understand business is to understand the functioning of a society. They are inseperably linked.

As we remember those veterans who sacrificed so much for the liberty of us all, let us remember our own personal and business liberty come from the sacrifices WE MAKE on a daily basis. In this way we will become not only “veterans” of business, but veterans of life.

Rhett Kniep is a licensed real estate business broker and building contractor. For over a decade he has successfully worked in the real estate investment business, buying and rehabbing and selling investment homes, commercial real estate, and businesses. He enjoys sharing his learned insights in business sales and development with others.

An accomplished writer, Rhett communicates with passion and clarity, and his work is known for its unique balance of practicality and entertainment.

You can contact Rhett and see more of what he offers at: http://centurion7.com

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