Peer response questions.
The two stories present freedom and liberty in two unique ways. The House Dog and the Wolf conveys the message that just because someone is content with the luxury of their life, does not necessarily mean they are free. The house dog is well fed and appears to have a good life, so the wolf asks him how he can too live in this manner. The wolf is convinced that this life of luxury is for him, until the dog explains that some of his liberties is taken from him for choosing this life. “”Chain!” cried the wolf in surprise; “you don’t mean that you cannot rove when and where you please?” “Why, not exactly perhaps; you see I am looked upon as rather fierce, so they sometimes tie me up in the daytime””(The House Dog and the Wolf). The wolf is surprised to see that regardless of the dog protecting the home from invaders at night, he is chained up during the day because he is considered “fierce”. The wolf ultimately rejects the house dog’s offer due to the fact he would rather remain free than to have a somewhat better quality of life. “”Oh, good night to you,” said the wolf; “you are welcome to your dainties; but for me, a dry crust with liberty against a king’s luxury with a chain”” (The House Dog and the Wolf). The house dog seemed to be blind of his own oppression due to his worry free life. From this story, I inferred that throughout history, although some slave master argued that they treated their slaves “well”, does not excuse the fact that anyone living without freedom is wrong.
The Kingdom of the Lion explains the hardships that the less fortunate suffer when they are fed on by the more privileged. In this kingdom, the beasts hunted the prey for their own benefit. The weak lived in fear until the lion, the king of the beasts, stood up to the wrongfulness of these ways, and made a royal decree that everyone should live in harmony. “The tiger and the stag, the dog and the hare, should live together in perfect peace and amity. The hare said; “Oh, how I have longed to see this day, in which the weak shall take their place without fear by the side of the strong”” (The Kingdom of the Lion). Throughout all history and even in today’s society, the rich and powerful have used the less fortunate to gain more wealth and power. Much like the lion in the story, the people of today need a leader who will stand up against this injustice and unite all people as equal for the welfare of humanity.
The Kingdom of the Lion. (n.d.). “The House Dog and the Wolf.” Aesop’s Fable: The House Dog and the Wolf, _The-House-Dog-and-the-Wolf.html.
Many people believe that the United States is the pinnacle of freedom and liberty in the modern world. Are we? Explain. What does it mean to be free?
We are free, but we are also tied down by our first-world problems. I agree with the professor about being chained to a phone. I am not sure what I or anyone else that has become attached to their smartphone would do without it. An easy example of panic where no panic is due would be you lose your phone in the covers on your bed. People lose their minds and almost flip their beds just to find it. Was there a reason for panic, no, but we still must have it available like it is a comfort item.
Many of us became addicted to social media and interactions with others, continually checking on it. You want to see if you got a notification or a “like” after posting to get validation. “According to an article by Harvard University researcher Trevor Haynes, when you get a social media notification, your brain sends a chemical messenger called dopamine along a reward pathway, which makes you feel good. Dopamine is associated with food, exercise, love, sex, gambling, drugs … and now, social media. Variable reward schedules up the ante; psychologist B.F. Skinner first described this in the 1930s. When rewards are delivered randomly (as with a slot machine or a positive interaction on social media), and checking for the reward is easy, the dopamine-triggering behavior becomes a habit.”
I know first hand that if you are a citizen of the US and you are in the military that you give up several freedoms. Yes, you are necessarily there to protect freedoms of current and future civilians but at some costs. You have to uphold a contract at that point; you will serve your commanders and the President, and you will give up a few of your freedoms too in the meantime. By abiding by your obligation and serving, you earn perks of housing allowance, food allowance, tuition money, travel, a gym offered for you, etc. Sometimes it does not feel like freedom but a dependence or as in the reading a “chain.”
Bill Burr said during one of his podcasts that one of the most horrible things you could do is chain yourself to your job. I was confused until he clarified that you have an excellent job that pays enough for you to buy that car that you desire. He said you essentially “chained” yourself to your desk because, for the most part, you can not leave that job until that car is paid off.
I feel we get so attached to our possession that they practically control us. If we had to fend for ourselves and hunt for every meal versus go to the meat section at Walmart, I think our outlook and appreciation of life would be different. I know the majority of us our so domesticated that it would be difficult for us to survive without these first-world accustoms.
Complacency is another word that comes to mind when I read “The house of the Dog and Wolf”. The dog has become so complacent “Why, not exactly perhaps; you see I am looked upon as rather fierce, so they sometimes tie me up in the daytime, but I assure you I have perfect liberty at night. The master feeds me off his own plate and the servants give me their tidbits. I am such a favorite, so what is the matter?” (The house of the Dog and Wolf) He is given just enough and decides that being chained is worth it. The wolf sees through this and wants all of his freedom, not what is decided to be given to him. I think that happens in society now as well. We have freedoms, so when those freedoms are limited we are like the dog and rationalize it. An example is COVID. I understand that it is being said that shelter in place is for our safety but although small you were being told to stay in. We are being required to wear a mask to go shopping, or even through drive through (depending on the county). It is not a choice. Another example is that my son is going into 7th grade, he is required to have the Tdap and Varicella in order to be able to go back to school. It is not a choice, there is no waiver to not do it. Do not get me wrong, my children are vaccinated but it is troubling to me that we do not have the choice. How many decisions are made to limit our freedoms for the “greater good”? I think many of us become complacent, like the dog, and trust that the decisions being made are for our good without looking closer and investigating further.
I think in the “Kingdom of the Lion” is shows how the bigger and stronger makes decisions for the smaller and weaker. The hare was so glad that the Lion had made the decision that the animals should live in harmony, like Brett quoted “Oh, how I have longed to see this day, in which the weak shall take their place without fear by the side of the strong” (The Kingdom of the Lion). This is what you see through history with the strong conquering the weak and deciding their fate.
I think both of these show how we are only as free as the stronger person or persons allow us to be. There is always someone pulling the strings.