Welcome to JOYFUL REFLECTIONS. Also welcome to MAY!!!! Spring is AWESOME. Enjoy some beautiful IRISES from our yard. Meet "Goodnight Kiss"

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!


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