When you hear the word “freedom” what comes to mind? I’m guessing if we could hear our answers they would be many and varied. We would probably have answers that would cancel each other out or greatly interfere with the freedom of another.
We are having problems in this great experiment in Democracy called America in realizing that freedom is for all, not just a select few. We’ve always had that problem, haven’t we? It’s really nothing new. Why did it take so long for anyone who was not a white, male, landowner to be able to vote? Early “pilgrims” to this “New World” were fleeing religious persecution, only to become known for their persecution of others who did not believe as they.
Something we should be learning by now is that the greatest threat to individual liberty is FEAR. That has been the biggest threat to American freedom since the terrorists attacks of 2001. When we fear people, cultures, religions, ideas everything can really turn sideways. It can cause the country of the Statue of Liberty and “give me your tired, your poor” to start talking about travel bans and building that infamous wall. It can cause us to fear each other and care only about protecting ourselves and what we have instead of working together to create a world that works for all. We even become afraid of people just because they are different.
What’s the answer? I don’t know, but I think we need to stop being afraid of each other and start talking and really listening.