“It’s ironic we’re celebrating freedom locked in our homes,” an old friend said to me.
He’s not wrong.
Ironic is a fair way to put it.
Yet too, the notion of freedom is entirely one of perspective.
What does it mean to be free?
Perhaps freedom has never been so hard to see!
Of course physical freedom is impossible to come by when you’re imprisoned in your home.
When you can’t open your business or go to work.
See your friends.
Go to the beach and soak in your freedom.
It’s pretty hard to celebrate your freedom standing 6 feet apart.
And what about the freedom of expression?
Have we ever lived in times when groupthink was so socially enforced?
Where having a different opinion to the masses was so scorned?
In a time when you and your freedom of speech can be canceled because of a tweet?
Again, this comes back to perspective
Every day of the week one might argue that locking yourself in your home is being free.
As a country, as a global society, we have the freedom to choose to put our world on ice to support the freedom of others.
The old, the sick, those particularly at risk from this pandemic.
Also the rest of us who benefit from slowing or stopping its spread.
We are so blessed with freedom we can give up some of our freedoms.
And what about the groupthink?
Perhaps we’ve never been more free!
Look back in time
And you see us humans far more censored.
In feudal times you dared not speak out against a King.
Nor the church.
Even in tribal times groupthink was lethally enforced for the survival of the all.
In many ways, perhaps we’ve never had more freedom of expression, particularly in America.
Over the last decade we’ve shone a light on many groups of people who we pretend are not oppressed.
And given them far more freedom.
We take for granted that even in this cancel culture we say what we want.
Millions of Americans actively hate on the president, and campaign against some of our oldest institutions.
In America we celebrate this freedom that in other parts of the world even today put you in a hole.
Freedom isn’t free
Of course we recognize there’s a cost to freedom.
And aspects of freedom that matter most never come cheap.
For centuries Americans have fought for our own unique definition of freedom.
It has torn this country apart before.
And we’re got more than stretch marks once again.
Our ideologies have perhaps never been more in conflict.
We struggle with topics of freedom like equality and expression.
All the while barely free to even leave your home!
Enjoy your freedom
And this is what, today, it means to be free.
We live in gifted times.
And in a gifted nation.
Where can choose to be locked away.
We can choose to protect those most at risk.
We’re free to be so divided.
We may not have everything we’ve come to define as freedom.
Perhaps we have more.
Or at least strong reminders of just what it means to be free!