For many years, I have been driving cars with a license plate inscribed with the motto “Live Free or Die.”
I am told by a Department of Motor Vehicles representative that I cannot get a plate without that inscription, and I could be fined if I hide, disfigure or disguise that motto, even though I may not agree with it. Seems like I have already lost a freedom that I am not willing to die for.
I am not sure how to take the meaning of that motto. Should I choose to die rather than be in bondage under another person, cultural norm, repressive government or regime? The world has already seen that millions of people have, and still do choose to live, under those kinds of circumstances rather than die. They don’t give up. Although they may resist in ways available to them, they continue to live the lives available to them because freedom is not as precious as life. And I think most New Hampshire residents would choose to make the same choice.
So, the motto does not express my sentiment because it places freedom above life, and real people choose life even when it has become difficult and freedom is limited or largely gone.