Happy Fourth of July to my fellow Americans. Something about this holiday makes my heart feel warm and my mind feel reflective. From the time I was born until now I have known liberty. As a child, I was repeatedly asked, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” Though at times it felt like an overwhelming question (as I often had no idea), the mere fact that I even had a choice was an example of our glorious freedom. Mom explained to me that some children did not have freedom to choose their path in life; but, my mind could not fully comprehend it.
Later in life, I was able to choose who I dated. Then, I had the opportunity to choose the university I attended. A couple years later, I chose who I wanted to marry. Even as I write, I am writing an article for a blog Eric and I started without asking anyone’s permission.
Like most children, I believed the way I grew up was normal and I took it for granted. You get up, eat breakfast, go to school, play with friends, do homework, eat dinner, have some down time, and eventually go to bed. Little did I know that every part of my daily routine was a gift. Waking up in my own bed, a gift. Putting on cute little girl clothes, a gift. Eating breakfast (and not once wondering if there would be any), a gift. Going to school, a gift. Playing responsibility-free with other children, a gift. Eating lunch and dinner, gifts! Hearing a bedtime story and being tucked in at night, two of the greatest gifts.
As an adult, I am far more aware of how priceless it is to be free and how easily freedom can slip away when citizens are not vigilant, when politicians are not held to a freedom-loving standard, and when the media is biased.
Are We at War Without Realizing It?
Never in my lifetime has there been a bigger war on the collective mind of Americans than there is right now. We are being told how evil we are as a nation (by people who are living in the lap of luxury in the country they are denigrating). Those who speak out against the mainstream media opinions are being cancelled and silenced on social media platforms. Our rights are being stripped away and we are being fed lies in our mainstream media.
If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed. – Walter Langer
To take over a country, you must disarm the citizens – not only of their weapons, but also of their beliefs. Those who wish to destroy our way of life know that if they teach the children and young adults to believe America is fundamentally rotten, it rids our next generation of patriotism. We do not fight for what we do not love.
Interestingly, it requires freedom to be able to speak out against one’s own country. We can hold explicit signs and scream obscenities at our police and receive no punishment. The same act in other countries may lead to harsh retribution or even execution. Those who want to scream and cry about how unfair, racist, and inequitable America is have never experienced true suffering. Never.
In some places, you can be executed for watching a movie the government considers “dangerous.” A movie. I recently heard a brave North Korean defector talk about risking her life to watch the movie Titanic. Again… risking her life for watching a movie. For many of us, this is almost impossible to imagine, but it is reality for parts of the world. Freedom is not as normal as we think, and we are so free in the USA that we can complain about how much freedom we have. We complain about inequity. We complain about not having as many toys as our neighbor. We complain about the grocery store being too crowded. We complain about having too many options at that store.
Are we spoiled beyond the point of no return? Will taking our freedom for granted be the root of our demise?
Below are seven freedoms we take for granted every day. Freedoms we may not even see as freedoms:
- We have the freedom to choose how hard we work. We are not bound in shackles, told what to do as a career, or how long to do it. Yes, we have bosses and expectations placed on us in our jobs, but we can leave positions if we decide to make a change. We can put in a lot of effort in school or a little effort. Most of us, if we work hard enough, can make it to college. That alone is a huge benefit of freedom.
- We have the freedom to love who we want to love. If we want to marry someone twenty years older from across the country, we can. If we want to find a mate through a friend or family member, we can. If we want to stay single, we can. No one is mandating that or who we must marry. Though there are still people who look down on various romantic arrangements, we are still free to pursue our own path in this country. Hurtful comments and unfavorable looks are unpleasant, but they are not oppression. We are free to love whoever we want in this county.
- We have the freedom to walk outside and go where we wish to go. Just the ability to walk to our cars and drive to a location of our choosing is a freedom some do not enjoy. Once we get to our cars, we have almost unlimited options of where to go. Do we want food? Do we want entertainment? Do we want to visit a historical site? The other night, Eric and I had a difficult time figuring out where to eat because there were too many options. A classic struggle couples face – that of choosing a restaurant – is the fruit of freedom, free markets, and the right to pursue the happiness our forefathers dreamed for us.
- We have the freedom to fail. In the moment, failing can feel like the end of the world; but without the chance to fail, we give up the chance to create greatness. We can try until we decide to stop. We can work on our plans and chase our dreams until they change, or until we reach them. Freedom to fail is another way of saying freedom to try and try and try. That is no small liberty.
- We have the freedom to be homeless. In my thirty-eight years, I never thought of homelessness as a freedom until I listened to Yeonmi Park’s interview. She said that in North Korea, if you are homeless, they take you to labor camps. Homelessness is nothing to joke about and certainly nothing to celebrate. It is heartbreaking. Yet, I am thankful that if I should find myself homeless in America, (at least currently), I do not have to fear being taken to an inhumane labor camp with no visibility and no hope of rescue.
- We have the freedom to disagree. Though many are working hard to silence dissenting beliefs, we currently have the right to free speech under the first amendment of our constitution. If we do not like something our leaders say or do, we have the right to say so in the public square. We do not have to salute our flag. We have the privilege of saluting our flag. A swift and powerful sword is not awaiting us if we refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance or join in the singing of our anthem.
- We have the freedom to worship. We have Bible apps on our phones which can even read the Bible to us. We do not sneak to church on Sunday morning. We march in confidently with our Bibles in our hands. Not only do we have the freedom to worship, but we have the freedom to choose where we worship and how we worship. There are as many denominations as there are Starbucks coffee combinations. This is freedom much of the world cannot comprehend.
Freedom is good. Freedom is worth fighting for and worth preserving. No country is perfect because they are full of imperfect people, but free societies afford their citizens options and are the envy of the world because inside each of us is a longing to be free. This is why even though there is propaganda instructing how horrible America is to Americans, people from other countries are trying their most earnest to come – they still know it is the greatest place to come to experience freedom.
I am Still Proud to Be an American.
As a patriotic American who is thankful every day to be living in this beautiful nation, it breaks my heart to see a movement of people proclaiming our land and our freedoms to be evil and rewriting our history. They call capitalism evil and destructive while enjoying the fruits of generations of capitalism and hard work. To those I say, it is time to break free from the lie that freedom is wrong, or evil, or something to be destroyed. Freedom is foundational. Once it is gone, it is almost impossible to get back. We have what we have because our nation fought hard for centuries to obtain and maintain freedom, and to create a land where we can all thrive regardless of our backgrounds. We are a melting pot of amazing cultures. You can vote an authoritarian government in, but you cannot vote them out.
America is for all of us.
Please help to preserve it and reject the lie that freedom should be replaced with governmental control. We are closer to losing our liberties than we think, and few of us can grasp how dramatically our lives will change if we do.
I must study politics and war, that our sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. Our sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain. – John Adams
A heartfelt THANK YOU to all the men and women throughout history who have fought in battle, in congress, and in the town square for the freedoms we enjoy today. Many of you never were able to enjoy the fruits of your determination and sacrifice.
May God protect and continue to bless America. Lord, we need you now more than ever.
Keep breaking free!!!
Are you or your significant other struggling with how to feel about your heritage due to what you are being taught in school/universities or hearing in the media?