Saturday, February 5, 2011

Freedom

In America, we have no idea what it would be like to live with a loss of freedom. We talk about being a "free country" but we don't understand the consequences of loosing that freedom and don't believe we ever will. Americans have even taken it a step further by opposing those leaders who take steps to push back the tide that is threatening our well being.
I have traveled all over the world - Europe, South America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Africa - but the majority of the areas I have been in enjoy the same freedom we do. For the first time I am in an area where freedom truly does not exist.
There are remnants of memory of oppression in America. A few survivors of the haulocaust are still alive and it wasn't that long ago that blacks were truly oppressed. But the generation of today has no memory of these things. We can read about them and be taught about them in class, but until we experience a loss of freedom, we have no concern.
What is it like to live within brick walls? Restriction on where you can eat, where you can walk, how you can be transported because it is not safe? Oppression because of race, religion or financial status. What about when you turn on your t.v. and hear phrases like "People don’t like them" (referring to US citizens) and "because we hate you..." This is life for the Westerner in Pakistan. Every day I wake up and realize anew that I am not in Kansas anymore.
Some people have a small vision of what a loss of freedom would be like on American soil. They think about the world their children and grandchildren could live in someday. And they choose to do something about it. Most of those people join the military and a small group of others choose other ways such as aid work. These people are making a difference to the world I live in. I don't want to live in a bubble believing nothing bad could ever happen to the freedom I have in America. I want to do all I can to support and encourage those who have chosen to fight for that freedom. Sadly, that is not the popular sentiment anymore. It is popular to speak against the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I challenge you to not speak out unless you have truly experienced the loss of freedom that could happen were not these men and women out there fighting for you.

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