Tim got up and walked to the window, pulling the curtains apart he leaned against the glass and whispered - “I’m trapped Sue, I work fifty-hours a week, I owe thousands, I most often feel tired, and most of all I’ve lost my freedom.” Sue stood up and walked towards Tim, she placed her arms around his neck, leaned in and kissed him - as she pulled back she replied, “Honey no one’s really free, freedom is only a ‘word.’” She smiled and said,”you might have lost your freedom but you still have me.”
Words, no matter the language - are the basic building blocks used to construct meaning in our lives. Call someone close to you for a second – now without showing them the “written word” read these to them – “urine trouble,” “your trouble,” “you’re trouble.” Ask them to explain the meaning. Words are majestic indeed, powerful and very often misused. Giving considerable thought to words over my life time I believe that perhaps the word that most underlies the meaning of human life is “freedom”.
However - freedom never lives alone for freedom is married to several words and makes this certain - the most important is “responsibility.” Freedom is not tied to religion, not dependent on politics, cares little for wealth or power - freedom knows not the color of one’s skin, nor does it value one gender greater than another. Freedom lies in the gifts of opportunity, acceptance, self-satisfaction, and ultimately – liberates those who experience the embrace of freedom’s arms.
It is said that freedom is the ability to act freely, a state in which somebody is able to act and live as he or she chooses, without being subject to any restraints or restrictions – this definition would enable the pursuit of wealth at the expense of those embraced by poverty, it would justify Jihad, and validate the stench of war in the search for political and economic domination. This is not freedom.
It is also said that freedom is a release from captivity or slavery, a release or rescue from being physically bound, or from being confined, enslaved, captured, or imprisoned. I do not want those who abuse children, rape and plunder to have the “freedom” to destroy those they touch. I do not want those who pursue wealth, political and religious power to – in the name of freedom – continue to crush those who are embraced by illiteracy and poverty. This is not freedom.
It has been said freedom gives this and other countries the right to self-rule without interference from or domination by another country or power. Granted freedom always has a price – the greatest is to ensure all humanity is treated with respect and honor. Freedom does not give any country the right to sacrifice the lives of children, mother’s and father’s, son’s and daughter’s – all in the name of “war”. Here the echo of freedom’s failure – Gettysburg, Dachau, Korea, Iraq, and it still echoes in whisper of “Afghanistan”. This is not freedom.
Freedom is the result of enabling human life through faith in truth, faith in truth leads to hope for success and satisfaction, all of these – the absolute gifts of freedom enable love. Freedom is not found in being loved – it is found in the loving of others. This is “Freedom – how sweet the sound.”