Free To Be

July 4th always makes me ponder the meaning of freedom, like, TRUE ABIDING kickass FREEDOM.

I’m talking about, cradling a bald eagle and standing in amber waves of grain like…

Plenty of articles claim that we’re not as free as we think—see 10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free @ The Washington Post, which asks:

At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

The article cites things like the PATRIOT Act, which enabled various governmental security measures that would typically be considered an infringement of constitutional rights.


But, constitutional rights aside, or of the things that jumped out at me since childhood about being an American is the ability to choose one’s own destiny, course of action, belief system…

It’s a basic tenet of being endowed with certain inalienable rights.

We aren’t dictated to concerning what we believe. We aren’t prescribed ethics. We don’t have to perform certain behaviors or recite anything we don’t feel is true or good or in-keeping with our values including, even, the patriotic musical composition that evokes and eulogizes the history, traditions, and struggles of this country.

We are free to be.

Some people use that as an unleashing. Immigrants come here to make whatever they wish out of their lives. Others see the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness to live as openly and independently as they can envision.

Others cower behind rights that ensure they’re able to be as awful as they want. They say hateful things. They try to minimize rights for people different than they. They refuse equality, even civility, to those beyond their ken.

I consider freedom to be the removing of restrictions, not living under the control of this force or that.

Yet, I see people living within restrictions and calling it freedom. And these same people seek to constrain others, then pretend they aren’t oppressive life-totalitarians.

That’s not freedom, if you ask me. We are free to be… so, what do you choose to do with that?