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What Does Freedom Mean?

Updated on April 3, 2013
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Back in the 70's, a cartoon series created by Kim Casali was published in almost every syndicated newspaper in America under her pen name "Kim". It was a simple cartoon and stemmed from a series of love notes that Kim drew for her husband. It was titled - "Love Is".

I was a teenager and "in love" with "love". I collected every cartoon printed in our paper and kept them in a series of photo albums. There must have been three or four albums with 12 cartoons to a page. "Kim" must have made a fortune on them.

For some reason, I found myself thinking of these wonderful little cartoons this morning and I wondered -

If I was a cartoonist, how many cartoons could I generate on the theme of "Freedom Is".

Well, I'm no cartoonist but I woke up today intensely grateful for the freedom I have and I wanted to delve into my own thoughts on freedom. I want to explore what "freedom" really means to me. This is my list.

Freedom!

  • I am free to vote; to participate in a democratic process.
  • I am free to love the person or people I choose, not those that are chosen for me.
  • I am free to choose a spiritual life, or not, and to practice that belief in the manner I choose.
  • I am free to climb to the top of a mountain and sit with God in the silence.
  • I am free to sit with my feet in the creek and release my worries to the current that carries them downstream.
  • I am free to express myself, through the spoken or written word.
  • I am free to decide if I will have children and to decide the size of my family.
  • I am free to walk in public without a scarf over my face or a covering on my head.
  • I am free to grow my own food.
  • I am free to choose a career.
  • I am free to share what I have with those in need, regardless of their race, creed, or gender.
  • I am free to sell or give away what I no longer need or want.
  • I am free to live where I choose.
  • I am free to travel.
  • I am free to celebrate national or religious holidays, or to create my own.
  • I am free to walk outside and get lost in the stars.
  • I am free to enjoy the beauty of a sunrise.
  • I am free to pray in my own way and on my own time.
  • I am free to choose my friends and to make friends of my enemies.
  • I am free to treat animals as friends rather than a commodity.
  • I am free to walk in the woods and commune with nature.
  • I am free to wear clothing that demonstrates my character and not that of my government or religion.
  • I am free to be a woman; a girlie-girl or a tomboy.
  • I am free to wear my hair long or short, blonde or brown or pink or purple, or all the colors of the rainbow.
  • I am free to listen to music that rocks or soothes my soul.
  • I am free to drive a vehicle or a bicycle.
  • I am free to think what I choose, when I choose, where I choose.


Perhaps, if I was an artist, I could create a series of drawings and make a lot of money. I am not though, but I am free to try. And isn't that the greatest thing about freedom? In freedom, we have the capacity to dream or to do, to create or to enjoy.


Sure, there are conditions attached to some of our freedoms but when you think about others around the world who cannot express themselves without fear of retribution, those conditions are insignificant. Participating in the 2012 General Election served to remind me of the freedom I value so much. As I stood in line with people from every walk of life, every race, color, creed, and from every class, I was proud and grateful to live in a country where even on our worst day, we are more blessed than others around the world. My wish today - that each of us take a moment to reflect on our blessings and freedom and to commit to doing our part to ensure that the freedom of the generations to come are protected and preserved. Blessings!

© 2012 Linda Crist, All rights reserved.

Read more of my hubs here.

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  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    Well put... And it was uplifting to read this today.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Thank you Carol. It is just where my head is today. We could be so much worse off than we are.

  • billybuc profile image

    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    That is a bit weird, that we would both write about freedom today! No, it's more than a bit weird. :) Our connection is starting to scare me. LOL

    If I remember I'll link this to mine, but all bets are off with regards to my memory.

    Great work once again, Linda! You done good! :)

  • jpesch1 profile image

    Jane Peschel 4 years ago from Currently living in Franklin, Wisconsin

    This is great! If we would just take a minute to think about things like this, we might check our negative words. I figured the sun would come up the day after the election, and sure enough it did!

  • Wayne Brown profile image

    Wayne Brown 4 years ago from Texas

    Glad to see you celebrate freedom, Linda...and you should. But I would also advise you to guard those freedoms closely over the next four years. Those which you will lose will disappear rather insidiously....a biproduct of some "necessary action" on the part of the government. The freedoms people enjoy seldom disappear overnight...they slowly contract or erode. Think about the farmers out west who have already been told that they cannot capture the rain water which falls upon their land....do you think their freedom might be eroding? Just a thought. Thanks for sharing. ~WB

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Bill, I don't think it's strange at all. We are products of a generation, raised by parents who had values and instilled them in us. We've seen war and its ravages and lived on both ends of the pay scale or lack of. We love many of the same things and...listen up...this is the most important of all...we are fulfilling our destiny. We were destined to meet at this time and place, if for no other reason than to encourage and support each other and to raise our collective voice to the injustice we see in the world and, to share what being "us" has taught us. So, what's so strange about all that? lol

    I was almost finished my hub when I got the notification of yours and I just smiled and said, what the hell! I'm so happy to share this time with you.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi jpesch1 - Thanks so much for visiting today. I agree with you and have printed my list and posted it in my work area so that I can remind myself daily of what it means to live in the greatest nation in the world. You said it - we can choose to dwell on the negative or accentuate the positive. Guess what I'm choosing? :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi Wayne. Your message today does not surprise me. Nor am I disturbed by it. I mantain what I said here - even my worst day is better that the best day for many people living other places. Yes, there will always be a price paid for freedom and yes, there are things that we all will lose because some took advantage or mis-used or simply got greedy. That's a given. But...we are still better off than those living in war torn countries, or under the fear of a dictator, or those in land that has been so ravaged by drought or flooding that it cannot sustain life. Look around you Wayne, we are a long, long way from there.

    Now, before you say it, I will state clearly for the record that this hub is not a product of my satisfaction over the outcome of the election. It is a result of standing in line with people from every walk of life yesterday who, no matter what their station in life, had the right to cast their vote for the person of their choice. And I found that quite refreshing. I choose to enjoy today and do what I can to protect tomorrow. I can't do that if I allow myself to have a dooms-day perspective. We have alwaysagreed to disagree so I hope today is not different because I do enjoy this contrary friendship we have found. :-)

  • Cathy Fidelibus profile image

    Ms. Immortal 4 years ago from NJ

    Great an uplifiting post.

    We certainly have a lot to be grateful for, especially our freedom.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    You are so right Cathy. I could have gone on and on but thought that if I kept on writing, people would quit reading. :-) Thank you for suffering through my starter list. I really appreciate you taking the time.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Linda,

    You have a beautiful heart and this message is the same. I thank God every day for my blessings and one I treasure most is my freedom.

    Thank you for this profound reminder and for being you.

    Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

  • Mhatter99 profile image

    Martin Kloess 4 years ago from San Francisco

    Great and inspirational reflection. Ironically your lat paragraph is, in my opinion, the most important.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Maria, thank you so much for making me feel like I did my job well today. I too admire your spirit and heart (that is also huge) and don't think you really needed a reminder. You do just fine all on your own. :-)

    But, I really appreciate that you took time to read my hub and, that you have become part of my circle in this great big beautiful world.

  • lrc7815 profile image
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    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Dear MH, I don't suppose you will be surprised to hear that I agree with you. If the last paragraph was all I wrote today then I said all I really needed to say. I live in the heart of our city and my polling place covers a diverse population. I am always struck by how the lines of division seem to vanish when we are standing in line together for a common purpose. Thanks my friend. You comments are always taken to heart.

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Linda - A fantastic hub much needed for so many right now. It is so important for us to remember the freedom we enjoy when so many others are dying to achieve it.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi shiningirisheyes! You are so kind and I appreciate your visit and comment. It's not hard to remember how blessed we are if we would just stop long enough to think about it. I am guilt of not doing it enough but I'm going to try to do better.

  • tirelesstraveler profile image

    Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

    Collected Love Is... cartoons too. Mom even sent them in packages when we were overseas. Its so sad that many people are in the prison of their own thoughts. I shall indeed dwell on the freedoms I have today.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi tireless! You too, huh? lol My Mom did the same thing. Silly girls. You are right about people though. A lot of people are imprisoned by their own thoughts. It's sad. But I know I'm blessed. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your "Love Is..." with me. :-)

  • James A Watkins profile image

    James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

    Thank you for publishing this most excellent reflection on Freedom. I enjoyed the journey with you. Well said!

    James :-)

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Hi James. Thank you. I appreciate you taking the journey with me. Every word came from my heart and I think you understood that.

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Linda, I just love your 'freedoms'! Ironically enough, I too was a collector of the 'Love Is' series! I just loved those single framed, simple yet profound statements. I wonder what happened to my collection? And why isn't 'Love Is' posted anymore? Hmmmmm.

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, OMG, not you too! lol

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Yeah, in fact in the movie Love Story, Jennifer told Oliver, "love means never having to say you're sorry". Conversely, John Lennon said, "love means always having to say you're sorry". Those quotes always stuck with me because of my affinity for the 'Love Is' clips!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Shauna, too funny. I never thought of that. Sorta damned it you do, damed if you don't. :-)

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    I think you forgot to approve my last comment, Linda. I know it was PG!

  • lrc7815 profile image
    Author

    Linda Crist 4 years ago from Central Virginia

    Oops.

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