Happy 4th of July! (We rarely hear it referred to as Independence Day anymore, and I shudder to think about how many students probably couldn't tell you what the significance of the date is.) Celebrate we do... a day off work... a day of picnics, parties, trips to the beach, and fireworks at night, but what are we celebrating? We are celebrating FREEDOM... and what a precious gift it is!
As a blogger, one of the freedoms I cherish most is the freedom of expression... to say and to write... and to share with the world via the Internet... pretty much anything I want. Can we even begin to imagine what it would like to live in a country where freedom of expression is repressed, and in some cases punished by imprisonment, torture and even death? I am outspoken... I say what I'm thinking (sometimes wisely, sometimes not so much), I don't think I would last long in a place where free thinking and open sharing of opinions and ideas was censored or not allowed.
Another wonderful freedom that goes hand in hand with the freedom of expression is the freedom of religion... to believe, practice our beliefs, and worship in any way we choose, or not at all if that is our choice. There is no "national religion or church" that we must all conform to. There are places in the world where professing a belief in anything but the state approved religion is punishable by death. Would we be willing to die for what we believe? Would I be willing to put my children at risk by teaching them something that was forbidden? I am ever so grateful that I live in a country where I am free to believe, and to express those beliefs without fear.
I could go on, listing freedom after freedom that we are blessed with as Americans. Those freedoms were hard fought for, let's never forget how they came to be! What freedoms are most precious to you?
While you're out there celebrating today, please don't overdo it with the alcohol and such. Be safe and sane! Remember that your freedom ends where it infringes on the rights and well being of others!