WOW Word-Of-the-Week #328: Freedom

November 15, 2010 by  

Freedom – the ability to do whatever you want.

Did you know that in South Africa from 1948 until 1994 that Apartheid was the official policy of racial segregation involving political, legal, and

Nelson Mandela Square

economic discrimination against nonwhites? Did you know that Nelson Mandela was in prison for 27 years before he was released and was elected the first black President? Are you aware that today in several countries people are in prison or under house arrest for their political beliefs?

Do you realize how fortunate we are to live in the US? We have the freedom to speak, the freedom to travel, the freedom of religion, the freedom of our political views. One of the greatest pleasures of our travel to South Africa was experiencing the culture and learning about the history.

“During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.” – Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, who is now 92-years-old, is bigger than life in South Africa. He is such an icon and so well respected by the people. There is concern about what will happen when he dies. They don’t feel they have another leader who can take his place.

This week focus on what freedom means to you. Do you realize how fortunate you are? Have you traveled outside the US lately? What freedoms have you taken for granted?

Reader Responses

“Unfortunately, many of us take freedom for granted. The main reason for this is that a lot of U.S. citizens have never had the opportunity to travel to countries where there is no freedom or the people are very restricted in what they can do, what they can say and where they can go. Many foreigners want to come to the U.S. to experience what we have. There are evenings when I am sitting in my backyard and just grateful for the freedom to sit quietly without being bothered and read my newspaper and drink my coffee. It is to us so basic, yet so big. Or just walking to the park with my girls unimpeded. These are so big. I can’t begin to describe how important they are. While I have traveled out of the country just a few times in my life (Ireland, Mexico, Canada), I have read about the trials and tribulations of people in so many other countries who don’t have what we have. And I am grateful. In this democratic experiment that we call the United States of America, we have taken in many of those peoples and given them the opportunity to live free. What we as American citizens always need to remember is that we can’t take it for granted. It is too precious. Thanks, Susan. Great word. Have a wonderful week. And speaking of gratitute, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Take care.” – “Warrior” Joe