Day 18 ~ February 17 ~ Freedom
“When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholic, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of that old Negro spiritual, Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
“I would like to be remembered as a person who wanted to be free... so other people would be also free.”
~ Rosa Parks
"The most certain test by which we judge whether a country is really free is the amount of security enjoyed by minorities." ~ Lord Acton
The purpose of freedom is to set us free to live. It is important because it leads to enhanced expressions of creativity and original thought, increased productivity, and an overall higher quality of life. All too often, though, people who live in freedom tend to ignore its fragility and take it for granted. It is important that freedom be guided by truth and fulfilled in the good, otherwise it risks going from being a means for selflessness, to a means for selfishness. Freedom becomes false when it impinges on the freedom of others.
Freedom means that we have the independent will to act and respond creatively and responsibly, that we have the self-awareness to self-reflect and to change, as dictated by the compass of conscience. Moment by moment today, I become conscious of my freedom and I am grateful.
A critical part of of freedom in the long term is having some sort of internal compass directing you towards those things that are most important to you. Having deeply held values is what makes you resilient, and what pushes you towards the best actions for you.
Find at least one way you can be more expressive of who you truly are.
Claire C. Chang, Age 14, USA
Peace Pals International
"There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail." ~ Eric Hoffer
"Our greatest freedom is to help others walk to freedom." ~ Jean Vanier
Action for Teens
Identify two freedoms that you currently enjoy and consider how your life would be different if you did not have these freedoms. Spend some time talking about your observations with a friend, teacher or family member.
Action for Children
Freedom doesn’t mean that “anything goes”. We still need to act responsibly. Think about a time when you had the freedom to make a choice and the choice that you made was beneficial to yourself and others. Write or draw a picture about it.
“To be free is to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” ~ Nelson Mandela
“Freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. I don't believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others.”
~ Coretta Scott King