Monday, July 4, 2011

What is FREEDOM to you?

Here in the United States of America,  we are celebrating today.  Today (July 4) is when our country declared its independence from Great Britain in 1776.  In our Declaration of Independence are these words:  "We hold these truths to be self-evident,  that all men are created equal,  that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life,  LIBERTY and the pursuit of happiness".



When I think of the 4th of July,  three words pop into my mind:  independence,  liberty and freedom.  In order to think more about these three words,  I needed to distinguish between them.  Independence is usually associated with countries or nations,  and freedom and liberty more often applies to people.

The dictionary defines these last two as follows:
LIBERTY:  the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life,  behavior or political views
FREEDOM:  the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint

Liberty implies the power to choose among alternatives rather than merely being unrestrained, whereas freedom implies the absence of restraint or compulsion.  Freedom can apply to many different types of oppressive influences while liberty often suggests or implies deliverance or release.  It's interesting when we start studying words and their meanings,  isn't it????

Human rights are something we all are interested in,  whether we are in the USA or in other countries.  Human rights are also something we all struggle with daily. Rights are legal, social or ethical principles of FREEDOM or entitlement.



My question to you:  What is FREEDOM to you?  Does it mean that you can do anything that you WANT to do --simply because you have the 'right' to do it?  Does it mean that you are 'entitled' to the good life no matter what you do?

As an OLD WOMAN who grew up with parents and grandparents who worked hard  (even if it meant 2 or 3 jobs),  loved our country,  loved God, never asked for a dime from anyone ---and NEVER felt 'entitled' to anything --without working for it, I struggle with today's world where people don't want to work and feel 'entitled' to the good life --no matter what.

Freedom to me is living the kind of life our forefathers provided for us when we obtained our independence ---working hard,  not doing things to hurt someone else,  doing for others as we choose,  not expecting handouts from someone else,  setting an example so that our children and grandchildren will remember us as Patriots --who loved God, family and our country.



Here are a few quotes I picked up about FREEDOM:

  • "Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged"--Ronald Reagan
  • "Liberty is the right to choose.  Freedom is the result of the right choice."- unknown
  • "Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one"--Benjamin Franklin
  • "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit"- Kahill Gibran
  • "Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free:- Dwight David Eisenhower
  • "Let freedom reign.  The sun never set on so glorious a human achievement"--Nelson Mandela
  • "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.  We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream.  It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same"--Ronald Reagan




Happy 4th to ALL....  Enjoy your day!

Hugs,

 
ALL pictures came from the internet in today's post.

45 comments:

Ms. A said...

Happy 4th, Betsy!

I plan to use my freedom, to nap. I'm not good at it, but I keep practicing!

eileeninmd said...

Great post, Betsy! happy 4th of July to you and George!

eileeninmd said...

Great post, Betsy! happy 4th of July to you and George!

Arkansas Patti said...

I think we flawed humans need restraints. To me freedom is having a say in what those restraints will be.
You and George have a great 4th.

Linda said...

A thought-provoking post, Betsy. Happy Independence Day to you and George.

From the Kitchen said...

Well said. I was brought up by the same sort of parents.

Best,
Bonnie

Mamma has spoken said...

Happy 4th to you too!

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

Hi Betsy, welcome back!
what a powerful post!

happy 4th of july!

betty xx

Sandra said...

amen, sister!!! 100 percent agree, you will smile when you see my 4th of July Rant today. happy 4th

texwisgirl said...

oh the last quote by ronald reagan is extraordinary.

Sandra said...

forgot your question about freedom. i don't even know what it means to me. when i think freedom, i think democracy and not being ordered to do what we dont want to do and being able to vote. but the way of our congress now, i think freedom may be on its way out. i think of public spaces without soldiers with machine guns accross their chest like we see in so many other countries.

Snapper II said...

Great post.You've selected some great thought provoking quotes, of some very famous people.

amy @ Life in Pink Hi-Tops said...

Great post Betsy! I was raised by the same sort of parents. I see the entitlement attitude everywhere and it grieves me. Love the quotes! Have a happy 4th!

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Wishing you a wonderful,however you choose to spend it.As a Canadian,I am thankful for the USA,our neighbours to the south.It is a blessing to share a border with such a wonderful country.

Linda P said...

Dear Betsy, I respectfully send greetings on this special day.

Karin said...

Thought provoking post! "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." Gal. 5:13
Free to serve others in love, hmmmm!

Daisy said...

Happy 4th to you, Betsy! :-)

Tracy said...

lovely post...interesting how we posted similar 'themes'~
love the photos and your words...
hugs my friend and welcome home!

Janice K said...

Freedom is a Priceless Gift that offers us unlimited opportunity but requires great responsibility.

Thanks for challenginig us to think about this.

Sciarada said...

Ciao Betsy, Happy Anniversary of Liberty to you and your family!

LV said...

Nothing can ever replace our country as to the freedom we have.

Happyone : ) said...

Freedom to me is having the choice, options and opportunity to do what I want with my life.

imac said...

Congrats on your celebrations Betsy and George.

What would be ideal is ALL Countries work together and share alike.
The rate we are going we will wipe out mankind by our own hands.

The future lies within our own hands, and we should take care of our planet, then we could look to a better future.

This is of course my own views and no offense to anyone.

Kirigalpoththa said...

Nice post. Love your thoughts.
Happy 4th of july Betsy!

Lynda said...

Our country's freedom represents to me, the freedom to worship our God without being told by the government which church or denomination we are required to attend.
And I agree there are guidelines on our behavior and responsibilities!

Diane said...

Freedom means basically the same thing to me. I hope you and George have a Happy 4th. Diane

Twilight Man said...

I send my greetings of Happy 4th July to Betsy, George and all Americans. You will truly understand and feel the true meaning of freedom when you live outside United States especially in 3rd world countries. I have visited many countries and vote USA as the best country to live in the world. Americans are truly blessed.

Twilight Man said...

Correction: I mean when you have lived outside United States, you will know about all the freedom you have in your beautiful country.

SquirrelQueen said...

To me freedom means the right to make my own choices about the way I live my life. But freedom must be tempered with an understanding and acceptance of others who reside in our wonderful country and those who seek refuge here.

This day means remembering my ancestors who sacrificed so much to bring us the liberties and freedom we enjoy today.

Happy 4TH!

Mildred said...

Happy 4th Betsy! A very good post. I agree with you; I try to remember the sacrifice, hard work, and devotion to God my ancestors had and try to "live" that every day in all my actions. Enjoy those steaks on the grill!

Busy Bee Suz said...

This is an awesome post Betsy...I agree with you.
God bless America!!!!!
Enjoy your day.
xoxox

Elettra said...

Certainly not everything is perfect, but believe me you live in a very extraordinary country that considers the value of the word freedom, happy anniversary, and returned well.
Greetings from Italy Elettra

Kim @ Stuff could... said...

Happy 4th! I think of Freedom as what Eisenhower said.

Chatty Crone said...

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!

That eagle on your header is just awesome.

Freedom to me means that you can think and speak your mind - and no one has to agree with you - but they should respect you!

Loren said...

Happy 4th to you & George! So thankful for our Freedom and I agree with you! So many feel entitled, yet do nothing .... or appreciate what they do have. So sad to say the least.

Leontien said...

Hello!!!

Happy Independence Day!
It means a lot to me (to much to write down in this little box) soooo i wrote a post!

Thanks for sharing yours!
Leontien

Together We Save said...

Happy 4th to you!! Just wanted to say I was up your way sunday. My yougest is visiting her friend in Baxter.

Lana said...

I'm pretty sure we will never totally appreciate our freedom until it is taken from us, and I pray that never happens. I am just so thankful for all those who cam before us who gave their time and lives so that we can enjoy this freedom. Let Freedom Reign!

Catherine said...

Hope you had a terrific July 4th Betsy!
xo Catherine

Thoughtfully Blended Hearts said...

I hope you two had a nice quiet restful day!
I'm sure you know how much I loved this post...

Our country is an experiment...but wow what a great one!!! If only everyone would appreciate the sacrafices that made the experiment successful!!!

carolina nana said...

Freedom requires responsibility.
Responsibility requires hard work.
Hard work is unfortunately becoming a thing of the past.
Great post. Hope you had a wonderful 4th.
Blessings to you.
Marilyn

Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Betsy, I feel the way you do about freedom. Love the quotes and especially R. Reagan's. Hope you had a great 4th!

Andrea said...

Hi Betsy, that was a long vacation! I kept on looking at the thumbnails if you're back. And that is a great header you just put here!

KathyA said...

To me Freedom is being able to express what I feel without fear of recrimination. Just love that First Amendment!!

Beth said...

Wonderful post, Betsy.
Freedom means many things to me. But this year as I taught To Kill a Mockingbird and excerpts of Huckleberry Finn and then showing the movie of both, I thought of those who are conspiring to censor those books because of certain words. But it is in those very words that my kids grasp the freedom the blacks DID not have. It is in their uncomfortableness with the N- word that gratifies me.
It is their strong reaction against the Jim Crow laws that give me hope for this generation keeping us free. Lack of censorship is a huge freedom and liberty.