Posted by: Kathy White | September 13, 2010


I don’t think you can every truly realize just what people suffer through when they lose their freedom. My loss of freedom was minor but still a pain in the ass. Not able to drive myself anywhere, I was mostly trapped at home. Not able to get up and down the stairs easily, I was no help around the house and struggled just to make it to the bathroom.

But freedom comes in all shapes and forms. There are people in prison — some wrongfully so. There are people who live in wheelchairs or are bound to rooms or bound to silence or darkness. There are people bound to depression, trapped in that darkness.

What does it do to a person to lose freedom? I watched with interest as Iran played with the lives of the three young hikers it has in prison, supposedly for being spies or some such thing — whatever excuse they use this week. And how it was announced that the woman would be released — and then, not so much. What does that do to somebody’s head? You’ll be free — and then you won’t. And they have no real, true timetable on when they will be free. It’s an endless sentence.

The word freedom gets thrown around a lot in the United States. What is it you have the freedom to do or not do? What does the Constitution say you have the freedom to do? When does this right impede that right? Because I’ve had my freedom pinched a bit in the last 8 weeks with a broken ankle and certainly stomped on a lot more by those who seem to think they know who has the freedom to marry, I have a small window into this. But my window is very small.

Here’s the definition of freedom, in case you’re wondering or have forgotten what it truly says in our dictionary : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous <freedom from care> d : ease, facility <spoke the language with freedom>

I cannot begin to speak to those who truly have had their freedom stripped from them. But my small window into being trapped a bit has given me a new appreciation for being able to just walk out the door, get in the car, and drive. It’s important to recognize our many freedoms and be grateful for them — don’t take them for granted and certainly don’t take away what’s rightfully ours to have. The freedoms we enjoy are hard-fought and we must always respect that — and respect those who came before us and those who, today, continue to fight for those freedoms.

But, seriously, I’m just happy to be back behind the wheel.

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