I started Freedom Academy in 2020 and it did not get much traction, mainly because I didn't market it properly - or care to. I have my Freedom Academy Faithful and I have my IRL discussion groups - so the blog has taken a backseat to my personal interactions. However, my book The Unraveling is now getting some traction through Twitter (I think it is called X now, for some reason) and radio interviews in local markets (like Tennessee, Wisconsin, Missouri, North Florida, and the Pacific Northwest), and it looks like this site is getting more traffic. So it appears now is the time to be more intentional here too.
Before I left Florida to spend two months on Lake Ontario, I asked one of my discussion groups two questions to keep them thinking while we were apart.
(1) What do you think is going on in society and/or politics right now?
(2) What is your biggest concern right now?
Whether we are paying attention to the unprecedented targeting of a political opponent by the party in power, the evolution of Artificial Intelligence, or the consequences of border policy being experienced by "sanctuary cities" that never believed they would be affected;
whether we are for or against new bold policy initiatives regarding firearms, abortion, debt, or free speech;
whether we understand the current war in Europe, the role of the U.S. dollar in international trade, the impact of pulling out of Afghanistan, the trajectory of Iran and/or the abandonment of the recently created Arab Coalition -- not to mention the Abraham Accords;
whether we should be concerned about China, Taiwan, Korea, fentanyl, human trafficking, the economy, CBDCs, or the climate crisis, one thing is clear:
There is a lot going on in society and politics right now - and even more to be concerned about. It can be enough to cause us to throw our hands up in the air and go bury our heads in a book or stream a TV series or movie to take our minds off the crazy that is constantly bombarding us. (Or maybe we just run away to a cottage on a lake and book music gigs...)
Giving up foreign policy analysis in January this year, giving up social media, focusing on writing and music, enjoying time with my husband and dog, and embracing the wonder of nature, has left me pondering whether simply ignoring the dark shadows lurking in my now periphery world wouldn't be the healthier (better) scenario for me.
Especially since the question is always: WHAT CAN WE DO? And there never seems to be an all-encompassing satisfactory answer to that question. The threads that have been pulled are many. The chaos and corruption is immense. I am but one tiny light trying to shed light on all of it. It is exhausting and the waves that come crashing down in my mind and against my heart and spirit can sometimes be overwhelming.
But I recently heard Jordan Peterson talk to Bill Maher about lessons to be learned from the story of Jonah. Jonah was given a message. He was given something to say. And when he, "like any sensible person would," chose to NOT to deliver the message to his political enemies, things got worse. The storm rose up around him. The lesson, Peterson explained, is that "When you don't say what you have to say when you are called upon to say it, you'll put the whole ship at risk." And yes, I do believe the whole ship is at risk.
But the story doesn't end there, and neither does the lesson. Jonah got thrown overboard. So the lesson continues: "If you refuse to say what you are called upon to say, you will end up in a place where you WISH you were dead." And although I don't wish I was dead, the dread weighing on my chest might eventually convince me to reconsider.
The end of his conversation with Maher on the topic is this: "You have a deep moral obligation to say what you have to say."
I have a deep moral obligation to say what I have to say. And this is where I have been for a while. For YEARS now. This URGENCY to say what I have to say, to push a message out to as many people as possible - but I have yet to find the method. In 2020, I started a YouTube channel I gave up on. I almost simultaneously started Freedom Academy - which has now settled into a manageable holding pattern. Last year, I started "Brushfires of Freedom" (one minute daily videos that I let go of after only a couple of months). In April of this year, I started in-person discussion groups I just abandoned in favor of vacationing on the lake for two months. And yes, I wrote a book (two books) that I think every American should read.
I realized today: None of my half-hearted attempts have quelled the calling to get my message out there. I still feel like there is something I need to do or I might just "die."
I initially believed simply writing the book would get me off the hook ("I don't even care if anyone reads it - at least the ideas are out there now" was my attitude.). But it didn't. The urgency, the calling did not disappear.
Things I was saying three years ago but did not hear anywhere else, I am finally hearing more important people saying - people with a wider audience than I could ever dream of having. But that didn't make my urgency go away either.
So...as these summer inspirations seem to get whipped up each year while I try to retreat away from the storms both blowing now and brewing on the horizon...I have decided fire up the blog once again. Maybe you'll share it with a more widespread audience than I have on my own. Maybe you'll contact me with a prompt that will get me going on a fresh topic.
But one of those "biggest concerns" given in the group two weeks ago was "loss of freedom." And that is where my journey started. It would be much easier to say, "It is over, we just don't know it yet, I'm gonna sit back and enjoy the show as the country and world slides down into the abyss." But although I have had a time of respite, peace, and joy - the urgency, the calling to get my message out, to keep pointing out the brewing storms, to reiterate over and over and over the same message remains with me.
I hope you will go with me on this journey. One minute daily videos were too hard to keep up with (I know, I must be LAZY - they were only ONE MINUTE!), but maybe writing is the way to go for me. Even though all the evidence says videos make a greater impact, something that's never posted can never make any impact. I am much more likely to sit and write a missive every day or two than to record, edit, and post a video every day - or even every week.
Keep your eyes on your inbox. And then read and share. Don't forget. You can always contact me too. What do YOU want me to write about next?
Referenced video: https://youtu.be/QsRzxxnmOYU