Freedom! What does freedom mean to you? To me, freedom means the opportunity to go, say and do whatever I desire as long as I do not infringe upon the freedoms of others. Freedom gives me the opportunity to worship the God of my choice in any way I choose. Freedom gives me the opportunity to go wherever I choose and whenever I choose. Freedom gives me the opportunity to speak the words I choose to speak. Freedom gives me the opportunity to write what I choose to write. Freedom gives me the opportunity to assemble with the people I desire to meet. Freedom gives me the opportunity to make choices, but it does not free me from the consequences for those choices.
Some time ago – months, maybe even years – I read a book entitled Agenda 21. The book described a compound where the “authorities” imprisoned all the citizens of what once was America. The leaders of the “Republic” made all the decisions as to food, clothing, marriage, childcare, career, etc. I do not remember if the book explained how the people came to these circumstances. The people who were older teens or adults at the time of imprisonment remembered true freedom. If they taught their children about freedom, they were punished. Those too young to remember what it was like to be free as well as those who were not taught about freedom simply assumed that their leaders knew best. One by one the older people died or were killed because they were no longer productive, and the knowledge of freedom died with them. The more time that went by, the less the people knew about what freedom means.
Every once in a while I have read of something about “camps” being made by FEMA. Is our own government making “compounds” to imprison Americans? I know not but believe it is possible with the present administration. What I do know is the importance of the older generation passing knowledge of freedom to the rising generation. Freedom will last only as long as we protect it and preserve it.
President Ronald Reagan understood our need to protect and preserve our freedom and spoke often about it. “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.” The only way the rising generation will know the value of freedom is for us to teach them.
Viktor Emil Frankl knew a thing or two about freedom and the loss of it. He was a neurologist and psychiatrist in Austrian, and he survived the Holocaust. He wrote a best-selling book entitled Man’s Search for Meaning about his experiences as an inmate in a Nazi concentration camp. From his experiences there, he discovered “the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most brutal ones, and thus, a reason to continue living.”
Frankl understood the meaning of freedom, especially the last freedom: “The last of human freedoms [is] the ability to choose one’s attitude in a given set of circumstances.”
Frankl also stated, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Evil people can take everything away from us except our choice of how we will respond to their wickedness.
President Abraham Lincoln left a warning to Americans: “America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
I had the privilege of growing up in a nation with more freedoms than what we presently enjoy. I know we are losing freedom bit by bit. We have lost a lot of freedom over the past six years. Are we going to stand by and allow our last freedoms to be taken from us? I am not. I teach my children and grandchildren about our great nation and the freedoms we enjoy. I am apparently doing a good job because one of my six-year-old grandsons saw a patriotic sun catcher in the store at his school and gave it to me for Christmas. He knows I love our nation and the freedoms we enjoy. I hope and pray that all of my children and grandchildren understand the importance of freedom and the need to fight for it and to protect and preserve it. Remember, freedom is “just another word” until we give meaning to it!