Seek discipline and find your liberty.
~ Frank Herbert
I finished my training to teach adults to read last week, and now I’m jumping through the hoops required in order to tutor through the country probation offices. One of those hoops is getting fingerprinted, as part of a background check they’ll do on me. I had to go up to the juvenile justice center yesterday, and it was an interesting experience. After I filled in the paperwork, they asked me to take my purse back to my car and lock it up. They then led me through a maze of locked doors, into the fingerprinting area. There were doors all around marked "holding cell." As we were finishing, two officers brought in a young man in hand cuffs and made him stand facing one of the doors until we left. He looked so young. I wondered what he'd done.
I just kept thinking of that expression, "Freedom isn't free." Usually we think of that in terms of those who bravely defend our country. But there are prices those of us at home pay for freedom, as well. One of them is following the law. If you can't do that, then you lose your liberty. I can't imagine how it felt to be that young man, facing a cell and whatever the future holds for him.
But there are other prices we pay to be free. No matter what we want in life, we must give up something to get it. I’m thinking in terms of personal freedom here, of making our lives better. And I’m not preaching: this is a lesson I’m thinking about a great deal and am taking very personally today.
If you want to own a home, you have to pay the price of going without the extras so you can pay your bills on time and build your credit. If you don’t want to smoke any more, you have the pay the price of withdrawal until the cravings go away (the good news is that they will go away: it’s 20 years and counting since I smoked!) If you want to live at a healthy weight, you've got to pay the price by committing to the hard and continuous work it takes to get there and stay there.
The greater the value of what you want personally, the greater the sacrifice you will have to make. There are no short cuts, no detours.
Freedom isn’t free. There is a price to be paid if we want to make our lives better. But more importantly, there is a price that will be paid if we do nothing and leave things as they are.
Happy Fourth of July, everyone. Let freedom ring!
Until next time...