Thank you for returning to Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. As you will notice, world headlines are an attention-grabber this week with a similar underlying thread: the fight for freedom. See what you think as we examine what’s going on in the world and our place in it. Let’s begin!
Is “freedom” the new 4-letter word? I’m asking myself this as an American looking at world headlines. Freedom certainly is a citizenship issue of late. I can boil most issues down to a struggle for freedom. I’ll give some GENERAL stories without naming countries, personalities, or political parties since the principle of freedom is our topic:
Organizations want their athletes to have the freedom to compete while testing positive for drugs.
Countries want to own other countries freely.
Countries want to control private finances (to a degree), restricting earnings.
Public figures want the freedom to “air their dirty laundry” to save face.
Public figures want the freedom to control the daily lives of their citizens, thus exercising control over others “for their own good.”
Journalists want the freedom to editorialize virtually excluding journalism 101, i.e., sticking to the facts.
Rich and poor alike worldwide seek a borderless globe for “freedom.”
Businesses want free enterprise with select ethics.
Educational establishments in certain areas seek freedom of indoctrination over true academia.
Citizens want free speech for some and not for others.
Politicians worldwide want the benefit of the law for their friends and the burden of the law for their enemies.
Freedom of religion is an offense to many.
With all the money leading countries spend, all the knowledge of history we have at our disposal, and all the brainpower on the planet, is this what we have come to? A struggle for freedom? Didn’t our ancestors and forefathers fight these battles already? And, haven’t we learned anything from them?
I’ve had to come to a point where I must acknowledge that some people want to be controlled by other human beings. Others want to live in perpetual teenage rebellion. It’s a big planet, and I don’t understand it, but it’s true.
The following words of wisdom on freedom resonate with me:
A friend quoted an eastern European woman who said, “If you place bread over freedom, you will have neither.”
Benjamin Franklin is famously quoted as saying, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
Pope John Paul II on living free added a necessary moral component: “Freedom consists not in doing what we like but in having the right to do what we ought.”
What are your thoughts on freedom as you digest the headlines and dig deeper into today’s stories?
This is Common Sense Civics and Citizenship. 🇺🇸