I got up this morning—not when I wanted to but when the dog needed to go out. It was earlier than usual. When he came in we played a while and then he went back to sleep. I, of course, was wide awake and here I am at 5 a.m. writing this blog post.
There is nothing remarkable about that. What IS remarkable is that I have the freedom to choose my lifestyle—when I get up, what I do, whether I have a dog or not, where I go to work and what I do. In many places of the world, this is not true.
I live with someone of my (and his) choosing in a place that we both consider the most wonderful town to live in. No one told me who to choose or where I could or could not live.
I live in a house of my choosing, have the ability to shop at stores of my choice that are filled with wonderful foods, clothing and “stuff” of all kinds. My shopping and lifestyle are only limited by my income.
I can come and go as I please at any time of the day or night as long as I don’t invade someone else’s space.
I can vote—for the person of my choice. And, I can have a say in who the candidates are if I choose to get more involved in the selection process. I can run for public office if I choose and meet the qualifications. If I don’t like them, I can work for their replacement in the next election.
I can say publicly that I do or do not like those in public office and I can complain about what they do and do not do without fear of punishment or retribution.
TV comes with all viewpoints and I can choose what, when and how much I watch. No one has the right to filter out what they don’t want me to know and, while some put their own spin on the news, I can change the channel to a broadcast with a different spin.
I can study what I want to study or not study at all. I’m an older adult with my basic education behind me. But as a parent, I could choose the school I wanted for my boys – public or private, religious or not.
I can eat at home or I can eat out and I have a range of choices from inexpensive fast food to gourmet cuisine. I can order food to be delivered to me at almost any time of the day or night.
I can go to any church of my choice or not go to any church. I can pray or not pray. I can pray in public or in private. I can approach God the way my own soul directs me.
I can wear whatever I choose, even if the colors don’t match, it doesn’t enhance my figure and may be considered outrageous and tasteless by some. I can wear it if doesn’t cover my knees – or face, or arms or legs. As long as it meets social decency requirements I can wear it anywhere.
There are laws I have to obey—like traffic laws—to contribute to social order but no other human being has the right to control me. My former husband often said – “Your freedom ends where my nose begins” or “My freedom ends where your nose begins.”
I have the freedom to write this blog and say anything I want to say. I have the freedom to make stupid statements, go on political diatribes, break all the rules of good grammar, and write meaningless drivel – if I choose. Or I can choose not to write anything at all.
I am grateful. Deeply grateful. I rejoice in these freedoms of choice and expression.
Today we celebrate our freedom as a country. Join me in celebration our personal freedom as well.
God Bless America.