Can this sense of freedom last?
As I look into the past,
Knowing how it went before
Fear what fate may have in store

The pattern that this life must follow
It’s only pride that I must swallow
Liberate a soul from this
With sweet embrace or with a kiss

Lay down the books, pick up the keys
Serenity is just a tease
The truth behind a world of choice
I would relate, but have no voice

Within reach of great unknown
How can I ever be alone?
And liberty seems so long gone
Before I find my peace at dawn

Peace of mind, yeah, that’s the one
I guess that I won’t need this gun
Unless my mind will slip away
’cause then I’ll need my rainy day.

Civil Disobedience

During the nineteenth century, much revolution and reform took place, particularly in the methods of government. In America, a fresh republic was in the process of weathering through its first century. Perhaps the most progressive form of government in place at the time, this democratic republic distributed governmental power and influence more equally than any government in western culture had done thus far. In spite of that fact, the American government at that point was still lacking, according to many who lived during that time. Henry David Thoreau, for example, felt that there were still improvements to be made. Being a rugged individualist, he longed for more individual liberties than were permitted by that method of government. As evidenced by his essay “On the Duty of Civil Disobedience”, Thoreau believes that there is a higher law than the laws of humanity that presides over life, and that it is the responsibility of the individual to interpret and abide by that higher law, meaning that the government is to be but a resource for the individual.

Thoreau does not approve of the American style of democratic government. He does not believe that it is in the best interest of justice to let one group of people, the majorities in this case, decide for all the meaning of justice. A true majority is attained between a person and God, Thoreau maintains, “I think that it is enough if they have God on their side” (ODCD paragraph 5). Basically, Thoreau does not like the idea that too often the truth will not be found in the majority opinion. Worse than that, though, is that the minority must submit to the majority rule regardless of the truth or face government sanction as a result of the failure to do so. “Men generally, under such a government as this, think that they ought to wait until they have persuaded the majority to alter [the laws]” before they violate unjust laws (ODCD paragraph 1). Our government, in its inability to be consistently just, often subjects the governed to unjust laws thereby forcing them to make a choice between disobeying God and disobeying their government. The government, though, operates under the impression that it is the ultimate authority. “a deliberate and practical denial of its authority was the only offence never contemplated,” Thoreau observes of the American government (ODCD paragraph 2). He believes, contrary to the government, that truth and justice lies not with the majority but rather with themselves. “To be strictly just, [the government] must have the sanction and consent of the governed,” (ODCD paragraph 8). Thoreau’s government did not have that. He goes on to explain that government might someday reach that point where “the State comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its power and authority are derived,” (ODCD paragraph 8). At that point, and not before, we will have a “free and enlightened State”.

Thoreau is unhappy with the American government. This government allows for the legalization of injustice and the outlaw of justice, should that be the will of the majority. If the government recognized the ability of the individual to understand justice on his or her own, then we could really be free. If only we were all justice-oriented.

Sweet Youth

And here you are, so young and sweet
I wonder why we had to meet
Subtle passion gave rise to shame
But I submit and play this game

You probably did not intend
To take these means toward that end
I act on an urge indecent
But your time is much too recent

Close my eyes and seek assistance
Spiting my innate resistance
Still the darkness within my heart
Remember I cannot play part

I tell myself to wait for you
Save innocence to remain true
Can this approach avoid the grief?
Resulting from my role as thief

It will never, and this I know
Past endeavors will always show
Reserving only lost ideal
Lets me believe this trick is real

If I admit that it was wrong
To entertain these thoughts so long
My insane plans I must release
If I still hope to find some peace

My peace now found, we made a deal
Let us make love, this time for real
You’ll be yourself, and I’ll be mine
Stick with the flow of life, divine

This is more than I expected
When I was so misdirected
Bright blue skies may still bring pain,
But I can find some peace in rain


This freedom of will is such an illusion.
Even these words are results of confusion.
Small mind is simply unwanted intrusion,
Succumbs to those lies, still lives in delusion.

I spoke with you briefly and heard your distress:
My heart is so heavy because of this mess.
Your pain is enchanting; I want to regress,
But I know I should not embrace this duress.

What would you do with your vain revolution?
Remember that you propose no solution.
For what you call sins, you seek retribution.
Your passion and fury lack absolution.

Your noble intentions I will not berate.
Your actions, however, may come from your hate.
The anger inside you will not compensate
So now on compassion I will meditate.

I seek peace of mind and find my reaction:
No hostility in this interaction.
With practice I learn to guide all my action.
I now search for love, not dissatisfaction.

In the past, much like you, I sought agony
By picking the fights that did not concern me.
Now peaceful I find that life is always free,
But for that I need responsibility.

You push for love and find exasperation,
And now in this world, no cooperation.
Your humanity seeks emancipation
Time will soon come to rebuild your foundation.

And it seems that you think that I do not care,
Our times are so tough or that life is unfair.
In truth I now feel that the best I can share
Is freedom I have gained from pain I would bear.

Surrender, acceptance, my propositions
For what you say are such hopeless conditions.
Though my ideas have met opposition
I no longer feel a need for permission.

Relate to me, once, some truth that you value.
Perhaps, from that point, we might just continue.
Our hate we let go, then life we pursue
Immediately, a faith, we fall into.