July 5, 2020: The Freedom of Choices
Celebrations for Fourth of July in 2020 were different reflecting the dramatic changes that have occurred worldwide. In the first half of 2020, we’ve witnessed the devastation of a world wide pandemic and its destructive impact on our economies. While COVID-19 still rages here in the United States, our fifty-year old, Civil Rights movement has been renewed with protests against racism, once again predominating our headlines. Our country seems to becoming increasingly divided over a hotbed of political sparring. People are angry, afraid, and vocal about their opinions……whether we agree with them or not.
Tolerance is giving to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.Robert Green Ingersoll
Years ago, when we were first married, I was ranting about the candidate my husband Ron was choosing to vote for. He quietly listened while I vehemently “discussed” the “inadequate quantities” of his choice. Once I had wound down, he said something I’ve never forgotten.”One of the beautiful things about living in our country, is the freedom to choose who I vote for. You have your choice and I have mine.” While it didn’t change my opinion in the least, I recognized the fundamental truth in what he said.
“The Talmud states, “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly now, love mercy now, walk humbly now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”― Bridges McCall
It is a challenge to advocate for justice, mercy and tolerance when one can’t accept or understand the behaviors and mindsets of those with opposing beliefs. It is too easy to make judgements and label others for their actions. And yet, unless we develop compassion and understanding we lose our own ability to embrace the tenets of freedom.
“In the face of impossible odds, people who love this country can change it.”Barack Obama
We have the freedom of choice: to be kind or cruel, to be respectful or demeaning. We can advocate for the rights of others or choose to condemn and isolate by gender, ethnicity, religion or political beliefs. We also have the right to speak out against what we perceive is unjust and unfair. How we choose to use our freedom is an individual decision.
Our country’s fight for freedom celebrated on the Fourth of July, designated its birth in 1776, as an independent country. Our country’s motto is E pluribus unu: means “Out of many, one”. Instead of choosing to let our country be divided, we can make choices to help us heal, from the pandemic by making safe choices, to accepting and recognizing the abilities, capacities and needs of others.
We have the freedom to choose. How to do you celebrate the freedom in your life?
Inspirational Quotes on Freedom to share. Feel “Free” to add ones that inspire you.
“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.”-Kahil Gibran
“Freedom is the open window through which pours the sunlight of the human spirit and human dignity.”-Herbert Hoover
“For everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labour in freedom.”-Albert Einstein
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”-Nelson Mandela
“No one outside ourselves can rule us inwardly. When we know this, we become free.”-Buddha
“No person is your friend (or kin) who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow.”-Alice Walker
“I believe in America because we have great dreams, and because we have the opportunity to make those dreams come true.”-Wendell Willkie
“May we think of freedom not as the right to do as we please, but as the opportunity to do what is right.”-Peter Marshall
“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”-John F. Kennedy
“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”-Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The essence of America — that which really unites us — is not ethnicity, or nationality, or religion. It is an idea — and what an idea it is: that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things. That it doesn’t matter where you came from, but where you are going.”– Condoleezza Rice
“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”— Elmer Davis
“In recognizing the humanity of our fellow beings, we pay ourselves the highest tribute.”-Thurgood Marshall
“The time is always right to do what is right.”-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”-Maya Angelou
“We’re blessed with the opportunity to stand for something—for liberty and freedom and fairness. And these are things worth fighting for, worth devoting our lives to.”Ronald Reagan