Tag Archives: Ramlbing Ruminations

Freedom

19 Nov

That’s a word that has been stuck in my mind, and I don’t know why. It keeps shooting around in my brain like a pinball, and, each time it hits a bumper, another question pops up. What does it mean? Does it really exist? Why do we hear it so often?

Here in the United States, people see freedom as one of the foundations of the nation’s structure. Freedom of Speech. Freedom of the Press. People fight to protect our freedom. Freedom is everywhere, but, then again, it’s not. People are not free from responsibilities. People are not free to pack up anytime they want and move. People are not free to drive on the left side of the road.

Some people say that our freedoms are being taken away because religion has been taken out of schools. Those same people believe that women should not be free to have an abortion. Can we pick and choose our freedoms? Who decides what freedoms are right?

Some people say that freedom used to exist but has been slowly eroded. They look into history to prove that the good old days were filled with something that has been lost. Often, they will point to my area of study, the American West, and use cowboys as examples. They had the freedom to get on their horses and ride the plains. They didn’t have a care in the world except where they were going to camp for the night.

Guess what. They weren’t free either. Cowboys worked difficult jobs for little pay. They would have done another job if they could have gotten the work. Cowboys didn’t have freedom. They had paychecks.

I don’t know what freedom is, but I know the following:

Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose – written by Kris Kristofferson and famously sung by Janis Joplin

Freedom is defined as the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action – Merriam-Webster

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction – Ronald Reagan

A true friend is someone who lets you have total freedom to be yourself – Jim Morrison

Nobody can give you freedom – Malcolm X

Freedom lies in being bold – Robert Frost

Punk is musical freedom – Kurt Cobain

Freedom to joke; Freedom to hope; Freedom to win; Freedom to be in – Simply Red

Freedom, that’s just some people talking. Your prison is walking through this world all alone – The Eagles

So, what is freedom? I reckoin freedom is being able to put all of that in a blog post.