what it means to be free

The dictionary gives us the definition of free as costing nothing.

The dictionary also defines free as not being subject to censorship or control by a ruler, government, or other authority, and enjoying civil liberties.

These two definitions seem to be at odds with each other.  Those of us who have lived long enough to understand the true meaning of freedom realize freedom is never really free.

Those of you who have spent any time reading my blog know I rarely bring up the topic of politics. But in light of the recent discussions of the SOPA and PIPA bills I thought it important to remind myself, if no one else, that freedom carries with it a price, and this simple fact is one we must never forget.

I don’t feel I am qualified to give a point by point debate on the merits (or lack thereof) for passing such a bill, but I will do what I do best. I will compare it to something that makes sense to me.

If we allow the government to control the internet, it’s like giving a group of nervous mothers control of the local playground.

Dear Children,

The playground is at your disposal, but we have removed the swings, as we feel those are far too dangerous. Oh, and the slide is gone, because accidents can easily happen and we wouldn’t want any unsuspecting children to fall and skin a knee. We’ve left the monkey bars, but we’ve lowered them to prevent accidents. You are welcome to run around the playground to your heart’s content.

But who wants to play on a playground with no swings?

Ok, so maybe I’ve over simplified things, but I suspect we need to simplify things once in a while. It’s the verbosity that gets us in trouble.

As I step down from my mini-pedestal (carefully, lest I trip and fall) I leave you with one last thing.

Let us never forget, the price of freedom is high…but worth every penny, every effort. Never take your liberty for granted. We must fight for freedom just as fiercely as we would anything else we value…by wielding our mightiest weapon…our voice.

Until the next time…I’ll be remembering what it means to be free.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on January 18, 2012 .