Thursday, July 3, 2008

Freedom Isn't Free

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires.
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...


Katschi said...

If you haven't lost it, it's so easy to take it for granted and forget that it does take effort & sacrifice.
Good post, Pattie.

RunningNan said...


PEA said...

This is a wonderful post, Pattie, and you're so right, freedom definitely is NOT free...we always have to pay for it one way or another. Back in the early 1970's my oldest brother got a 3 year prison term for marijuana possession...he was only 19 years old and I'll never forget the look on his face, how scared he was. That always stayed with me and I was terrified of doing anything that would take away MY freedom so I've always made sure I was on the straight and narrow! lol xoxo

Jewelgirl said...

A wonderful post! I stopped by to
say hi, saw you over at Kellis house.
I hope you have a terrific 4th of

Needled Mom said...

Great post, Pattie, and you are so right.

Did you see my sister when you were in Saticoy??? I should have you meet her sometime as you two would get along great.

See you Tuesday. Enjoy the 4th and the weekend.

Susie said...

This is a wonderful post Pattie. You've given such wonderful examples of the price of freedom.
We are so blessed to live in this great country..
Hope you have a wonderful 4th!

Kathy said...

Lots of room for thought here. I can't imagine what it must feel like to be imprisoned or to live without hope. So many young people get headed down that path before they have the opportunity to see what they can make of their lives.

And all of this makes the political season even more important!

Linda said...

So nice to meet you Patti. I'm glad you visited my blog. After reading your profile, I think we have much in common. I am in the process of hand-quilting my first quilt and really enjoying it. My mom, the master quilter, is my teacher.
I loved your post and certainly agree.
Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July with your family.

Manuela said...

Such a wonderful post.

I love the picture--so cute! I hope that you have a wonderful fourth :)

Deborah said...

WOW!! Great post!! Thanks for making me think about our freedom!!

Ready Maid said...

Another great post, Pattie. I actually spent a couple of amazing years working at City of Faith, a group of halfway houses for inmates serving the last portions of their sentences on work release programs.

jillytacy said...

Another great post Pattie! Your words ring true. Anything worth having often requires sacrifice and great commitment. Of course the returns on the sacrifices make it worth it!

Kelli said...

Thank you for visiting my blog, it's nice to meet you, Pattie! I enjoyed this wonderful post. I hope you had a great 4th of July!

Midlife Mom said...

Excellent, excellent post Patti! You sure put into words what we all should be thinking about during this July 4th holiday weekend and any time for that matter! Excellent!

JC said...

Great posting. JC