Independence Day 2020— How Free Are You?
Today is Independence Day! On this day in 1776 our leaders signed the Declaration of Independence which proclaimed that we were created equal and have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
We fought a war and we won. We were free from Great Britain’s rule. Free. We have freedom.
So just how free are you?
I’m not talking about politics here or the state of the country. I’m asking about your own personal freedom. How free are you? Are you truly free on Independence Day?
Are you subservient to prejudices and stereotypes? Do you reject other people because of the color of their skin or their national origins, their age, sexual orientation, religion or their education? Prejudice means, as you know, that you pre-judge. You make up your mind without knowing the facts and make statements like “All _____________ are dumb” or “All _____________ are dishonest.” “All _____________ should be run out of the country.” You fill in the blanks. If you are shackled by prejudice, you are not free but bound by preconceived ideas without any input from you.
If you make your decisions based on prejudice and stereotypical thinking, you are not truly free.
Are you free from what you were told you had to believe when you were a child? On Independence Day, consider if you have made decisions for yourself about what you believe about the important things in life like:
- God/Religious/spiritual beliefs
- Who you are and what you’re here for
- Gender Roles
- You get the idea. Do you spout out the same words your mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother taught you or have you thought things through for your self and made a conscious, rational decision about each area? If you accepted those teachings, fantastic. If you have come to different conclusions, fantastic. At least you know what you stand for.
If you have gone forward like a sheep without making decisions for yourself and what you believe, you are not free—you are a slave to someone else’s beliefs.Take time to figure out what you believe that you weren’t told you HAD to believe.
Are you a captive?
On this Independence Day, Are you free from emotional entanglements that keep you from realizing your full potential? Or are you a captive of
- low self-esteem
If you are not addressing your emotional entanglement head-on, then you are the slave to your own emotions and are not free.
How about your relationships?
What about your relationships? Are you in a relationship that keeps you from being who you truly are, that keeps you beaten down or controlled by another? Do you have your own dreams, goals, likes, and dislikes or did you give them up for the relationship?
Take a look at your life. Is this truly an independence day for you? Are you feeling like a captive in your relationships?
What about your job? Are you free to be creative, successful, and feel good about yourself? This may not be a good time to think about switching jobs, but is this what you want to do for the rest of your life? Are you held back by your own thinking?
What about your Pursuit of Happiness? Did your dreams and aspirations get lost or squelched along the way? Can you get them out and dust them off and begin again?
We could go on and on with questions that only you can answer. And you can create your own questions and answers about how free you truly are. Spend some time in meditation and contemplation on this.
What about the COVID-19 Pandemic?
We have been told we have to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Our loved ones may be dying and we are not allowed to be with them. What happens to your freedom now? It is YOUR choice to wear a mask or not. But think carefully before you make your decision. There is little defense against this virus. The mask may protect you or it may protect someone from you if you are infected but show no symptoms.
It may not be much, but it is what we have right now. You are free to wash your hands or risk contamination yourself or others. But you get to make the choice. You are free to go about your merry way to join protests or riots. It is your choice. You are free to take care of yourself and others or risk your own death or theirs.
Take some time to think about these things today and make a decision to declare it your own personal Independence Day!
Happy Independence Day!