This was created for me by a talented artist named Igor Lukyanov from Ukraine. He saw some photos of me on a bodybuilding site and made this for me. I love it, and have it on the wall in my office.
I’ve been thinking about Igor a lot these days. Russia has a hold on the Crimea region and people are in danger of losing the little bit of autonomy they managed to hold onto for a while. It reminds me how precious freedom is and how it is always in danger of being encroached on or worse, lost altogether.
I know many American citizens take freedom for granted, never considering how it was won, maintained or consequently how it can be lost. It’s always been paid for by the few; by the thinkers, the watchers and by our military with grit, determination and great sacrifice. Yes, paid for by the few but enjoyed by the many.
I look around this beautiful country of ours and I know how much small groups can accomplish and I’m proud…but I also worry that perhaps one day there will be too few standing. Matters of liberty are hardly the stuff of general conversation. Too many people seem entranced by what the Kardashians are wearing or who the next Idol is going to be. It’s not that we don’t need time off to think about light matters and to enjoy sunshiny days, trips to the zoo with our children and parties with friends. It’s just that it seems to be the meat we chew, what we live on and not just the icing on the cake anymore. It would be well to remember that each generation must do their part. We must watch for and stand against people who dedicate themselves to eroding the liberties we enjoy. We must always be vigilant, knowing that what was once won, can also be lost.
President Reagan once said “Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where people were free”