During different stages of my life, I’ve noticed freedom has ment a variety of different things. As an adult, right now, freedom to me means the option to choose as I want for whatever it is I have the freedom to choose. However, this is really vague – my moral, ethical and responsible sides limit what I choose to do. Legally I have quite a few freedoms… mentally the topic changes.
That said, I recently went to my son’s Kindergarten program focusing on presidents, equal rights and America.
Listening to the kids sing “America” reminded how big the world used to seem. The President of the United States used to be such a glamorous person in my mind – a big title for a big man with big responsibilies.. living in that big, beautiful White House. So big and important – lacking in mistakes and appearing more like a hero than an average man.
Now, however I can turn on the TV or the radio or skim through stories on the internet any given day and I’ll find commentary criticizing the man that is supposed to be leading our country; Entire scripts bashing our city, state or country decision makers. There is a freedom we are allowed, as US citizens to say as we please as well as a freedom to listen to or agree with others. Yet, to me, the older I get and the more I hear, the more disheartening the world becomes as far as the perspective of important status our leadership is supposed to be worth.
No longer do I feel like anyone looks up with twinkles in their eyes. No longer do politicians seem like celebrities. There seems to be more negative than positive, and it makes me wonder… how are managing any kind of success in such a state of discontent?
I’m not saying I want to walk around disillusioned to the problems our country is facing now. Nor do I believe “now” is a more dire situation than “then”. I realize we need to wake up and pay attention to what the world around us is doing. However, I do think there is a greatness that is missed related to being positive despite the mud we’re standing in. I also think part of our privilege of freedom in this country is to have the ability to make things happen for ourselves, rather than sit back and let things happen to us.
I’ve always worked against the grain and sometimes it’s worked out for me and sometimes I just end up with a handful of splinters. Either way, I come away knowing I was given the choice. That’s the beauty of freedom – we have the freedom to succeed and the freedom to fail… and grow and try again.
We should never let these basic principals of freedom be forgotten or taken away.