Writer’s Name: Lorraine Elzia
Title: Freedom – The Child of Democracy
Freedom. A simple word that one would think has a universal meaning. In the big scheme of things it does. When measured by wars, bondage and physical capabilities, arguably, most recognize the term and agree, to a certain extent, that in America, as a united body, we– the people – are free.
But the world does not turn on the big scheme of things. It is the little actions
and circumstances that truly illustrate the real picture of our existence.
We’ve come a long way baby, as the saying goes. Segregation, at least in terms of how it once was, no longer exists. Blacks don’t have to sit on the back of the bus, drink from separate water fountains, or clean the houses of white men and work on their plantations for little, if any, pay. Women have the right to vote. We can live where we please, shop where we choose to shop, and worship in any manner we individually see fit. People are allowed to say what they please, voicing their opinions without the threat of imprisonment just because their government feels threatened by what they have to say. Opportunities cross color lines. The corporate ladder is free for all to climb, and some of the richest people in the world have a dark tint to their skin color that was given to them by God.
We’ve taken out the highest security threats to our nation. Through the grace of God,
and the thoughtful planning of our leaders, we have sent our enemies home to
their maker or His nemesis; ensuring that they no longer are a threat to us and
their only abilities now revolve around pushing up daises. Yes, by all expectations and traditional measures, we are free. Our nation, while imperfect, has no real ties that bind our actions or our liberties.
But at what cost? What must we endure for the precious gift of freedom? That’s the
million-dollar question and one that is not easily answered.
The cost we pay comes in the manner in which we must be willing to establish and
defend the freedoms that we all enjoy. The price is not paid in the big scheme of things; it is measured by the immeasurable. The little things that encroach upon our lives.
Financially, the price we pay for freedom hits our pockets in the form of higher taxes,
requirements to have insurances on home, car and preparation for medical needs. We are also subjected to higher prices on the luxuries of life that we choose to acquire or indulge in. Those high prices are imposed on us so that the funds can be distributed to pay for governmental necessities that we all need. There once was a time where certain things were not available to us, but now that they are, we have to pay a high price for them.
Emotionally, the cost of freedom can be high for military families who support their
active-duty spouses and parents. They deal with the loneliness and constant worry about their loved one who is thousands of miles away in a foreign land and in constant danger. That same price of freedom causes sorrow to us all by the countless number of flag-draped coffins that come back to the homeland in the belly of planes delivering military soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for us all and our freedom.
Physically, the price of freedom hits us all at our boarders. Both at the edges that outline the territory of land which makes up our great nation, and at each and every airport that we enter in search of traveling elsewhere. At the boarders we have to take measures to keep out those that want to creep in for the chance to live the American dream. At the gates of our airports we are subjected to heightened security to make sure that our planes will not be used as weapons of destruction to our nation or its people. Being free makes it necessary for us to endure intrusive measures to try and limit who comes in and who goes out of this land we hold so dear.
Mentally, the price for freedom of religion, of speech, or of the press comes with the price tag of putting up with foolishness, ignorance and sometimes buffoonery by those that use their given freedom as a crutch to commit ill will. The ability to shout, “I’m free to do as I please” allows people to stand behind that plea of innocence as justification for doing things that morally they should not do, but which freedom of choice gives them the ability to do. Individual freedom demands individual responsibilities, however, some do not see it that way. Some use our freedoms as excuses to do as they please when the truth is that personal responsibility is one of the prices we pay for liberty.
Freedom, as we know it, is the child of Democracy. It governs us and is the drug of choice for most Americans when it comes to how they will be ruled. Freedom is also self-determined; it is unique to each of us. The way we act in accordance to our own individual lives is both the gift and curse of our liberties. We are free to make choices and free to live our lives as we want to; however, that does not mean we are free to do any and everything we want to. There are things that exist to limit our freedom, and those limits are called, “rules.” We cannot be a free society without each individual experiencing a bit of un-comfortableness in regard to being responsible for our actions. Wayne LaPierre said it best, "Freedom is never an achieved state; like electricity, we've got to keep generating it or the lights go out."