What Does it Mean to Be Free?

Tomorrow in the USA is Independence Day. It’s the day that we take time each year to remember what it means to be free, and the men and women who have given so much over the years to make this nation a reality. We celebrate with big showy firework displays, picnics with family and friends and parades. The 4th of July is a day of gathering together to celebrate the nation that has brought us all together in the first place. Our nation was established on the desire to be free to live in the way the founders saw fit, a way that didn’t work with England and other established nations, but a nation that was all their own. We’ve gone through lots of years and experiences since the first colonists landed and the founders sat down and made decisions. We’ve made some changes that have made us a better nation and made some decisions that we’ve struggled with. Just because you’ve got a goal of freedom doesn’t mean that you’re guaranteed to be successful or everyone will love it. Freedom is a great goal and starting point, but there’s a whole lot more to a victory than just a concept.

One of the jobs you take on when you establish a nation based on and inspired by freedoms is to make the world a better place. when you’re created or inspired by something as powerful as freedom, you agree to take on the very hard work of seeing the pains and struggles of those not living in freedom. Again, you won’t get it right all the time, but you either encourage freedom, or you go back to the way things used to be, the things you left behind in the first place.

Dwight D. Eisenhower said “there is nothing wrong with America that the faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure.” The simple fact is either you’re going to encourage freedom for everyone (which means not doing anything that would take away from the freedoms of others), or you’re not.

So what about you? What have you done recently to help someone be free? Watched their kids? Helped them with a work project? Contributed to an organization fighting human slavery and trafficking? Raised puppies for wounded warriors? How are you encouraging and spreading freedom?

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  Nelson Mandela

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