Freedom, Independence. What Does it Mean to You?

Jun 29


Barbara Mascio

Barbara Mascio

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I grew up around my grandmother and her sisters and brothers. We didn’t have much in the way of outside influences or ‘store-bought’ entertainment and so Sunday afternoon story telling was always something I looked forward to.


My elders were quite versed in history and were intelligent enough to question what was recorded as history. They often times weaved quotes from famous people in to their own life’s history as a means to emphasize the feel of the day,Freedom, Independence.  What Does it Mean to You? Articles so-to-speak. I learned so much as a child, just by sitting at the feet of a person that had experienced a full life.

I recently asked our readers to submit a short description of what freedom means to you. Every submission to this request came in from a senior. For those of you who look at our elderly as being uninformed or you lose your patience because they move or talk slower than you’d like, I invite you to read what these seniors have submitted and plan to be amazed. Freedom, in the eyes of the seniors responding to this question, includes the freedom of all persons, not just personal freedom. They express so well that what they wish for themselves, they wish for you and your children.

Submitted by Fran of AZ
Freedom for all requires that each person demanding freedoms will also accept the responsibility of attaining that freedom. Please don’t ask an authority (government, church etc.) to take away that responsibility from you. Think. Every time we make a new law to ‘protect’ ourselves, we give this authority over to the politicians and lawmakers

Submitted by Elizabeth of MI
Freedom to me is having the right to choose a doctor that also has the freedom to choose my treatment – without being influenced by insurance and drug companies. Where do we go for that?

Submitted by Gloria Anne from OH
Today's conservatives define patriotism as being nothing short of all out, unquestioned loyalty to G. W. Bush, regardless of how improper or unconstitutional his proposals and policies might be. I sense a loss of freedom, I am afraid of the Homeland Security authorities. I was around during the reign of McCarthy and Hoover. Does anyone else remember this?

Submitted by Clarence of ID
President Theodore Roosevelt said, "Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else." Unpatriotic for a government official to lie? Well, we impeached one president because he lied about his sex life and one because he lied about spying on his competitors. How many times do we accept lies now as ‘matter of fact’, the course of ‘doing business’? I worry about the apathy these days, and I understand it. They have us so busy just trying to put food on the table few people lift their heads up and realize what is happening all around them.

Submitted by Lydia from MI
I now quote Mr. Jefferson: 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…. These truths were self-evident (Among moral, reasonable men they could not be argued against). The emphasis on the next phrase is as much on the word “created” as it is on “equal”. We each have varying talents, physical characteristics, amounts of wealth, etc. But we all are born “equal” before the Creator. The current modern day concept of economic equality is more akin to Karl Marx than to the Declaration. Lastly, it is not Happiness, but the Pursuit thereof to which we have a right.

Submitted by Mary of PA
President Ronald Reagan said, "Government is not the solution to the problem; government is the problem."

Submitted by Arlene of FL
President Kennedy said the following in 1962: Few nations do more than the United States to assist their least fortunate citizens--to make certain that no child, no elderly or handicapped citizen, no family in any circumstances in any State, is left without the essential needs for a decent and healthy existence. In too few nations, I might add, are the people aware of the progressive strides this country has taken in demonstrating the humanitarian side of freedom. Our record is a proud one--and it sharply refutes those who accuse us of thinking only in the materialistic terms of cash registers and calculating machines. Are we still the same country? Think about it.

Submitted by Frank of TX
We are free to breathe. Well, only if you don’t mind the fact that the air we breathe these days is full of contaminants put there as a result of industrialization with profit the main concern over environmental safety.

Submitted by Joseph from IL
Thomas Paine said in 1791, "The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from the federal government." Our first President, George Washington agreed. He said, "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master." I fear we’ve lost control and the servant is not our government (as it was intended) but we the people are now servants to them. Fearful master indeed.

Submitted by Stephen of OH
I was a child during World War II. I remember thinking that I hoped the war would continue long enough for me to join the army and fight for my freedom. Now, as we appear to be repeating history, I wonder if maybe we should learn that freedom can be best held through learning tolerance and letting go of fear and hate. The struggle for freedom, around the world, always seems to be centered in the energy of conflict and only ends when one side concedes. Who will be the brave trusting sole (or country) to say, no more killing for freedom sake?

Submitted by Agnes of FL
Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security dollars are money that you and I have supported through payroll deductions. I say, if you want to receive these benefits, and then continue supporting this. If you do not want these benefits, let us have the freedom to invest this same money on our own. We would promise never to apply for benefits and if we mismanage our money, then so be it. But I would like to have the freedom to ask for the right for the government to trust me with my own finances. Given the debt of our country now (you are aware that we’re borrowing money from China just to operate the administrational functions of government) I think I can balance my checkbook a bit better than a politician. But will we ever take the stance that we are wiser than politicians?

Submitted by Eleanor of OH
Freedom to me is to follow the accepted rules of society. That is to say, work and support ones’ family, educate your children, care for the elderly and frail, teach people how to do the same without crippling them with handouts and that my children should be able to capitalize on my efforts, ending up with a better life than me and their children building on this success and so on. My son and daughter-in-law and their two children are now living with us, my son holds a PHD and cannot find work. Clearly, they do not have the same freedoms as I have enjoyed all my life. He has a job offer now, but it will take him to Japan. It breaks my heart, but he has a family to feed and this company in Japan is offering him something that he cannot find within the United States.

Submitted by Howard of FL
I would like to hear the truth along with all the facts supporting the truth about how our tax dollars are being managed. Freedom requires decisions. Decisions cannot be made if you are held hostage by sound bites and misleading data. I sense that we are in real trouble here in the states, but how does one truly know?

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