July 7, 2016

Editorial by Cindy Bousquet Harris: "Let Freedom Ring"

Cindy Bousquet Harris is a poet and a licensed marriage and family therapist. Her poems can be found in Indiana Voice Journal, Blue Heron Review, Eclectica, Inlandia: A Literary Journey, and an anthology from Poetry Contests for a Cause. Cindy has given poetry readings at the Claremont Library and at Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice, CA. She’s had the pleasure of working with adults and children in a variety of settings, including as a visiting writer at juvenile hall through Women Wonder Writers. You can contact her at: cmbharris@netzero.net

Let Freedom Ring

    Firecrackers start the week before. Hotdogs dripping with mustard, relish, maybe
“the works”. Can’t count the flags, there are so many; they wave from porches, apartments, businesses, and city halls. Yes, it’s the Fourth of July and the U.S. is celebrating red, white, and blue.
    But this country’s not the only one to value freedom – though many countries
seem to have precious little of it. And, though I love “Old Glory” as much as anyone, freedom’s not just a matter of flags.
    It’s a worldview, a way of life, an attitude, if you will. A hope that wells up and energizes, believes in possibilities, and gives us the courage to act on them. A respect
of laws that protect and allow. Also, a tremendous responsibility.
    Sound pretty idealistic? Well, ideals are a big part of this country’s foundation.
But how do ideals become real? By acting on them, living them, preserving them, and
– dare I say it? – appreciating them.
    Gratitude for our freedom helps keep us free. It urges us to help those with fewer,
or almost no, freedoms. And it just might remind us to be humble. What does that
have to do with freedom? Humility confronts our tendency to take things for granted.
It challenges our apathy and can jumpstart our compassion.
    As this country celebrates its Independence Day, along with the picnics, fireworks, and other festivities, let’s consider what freedom means to us, its demands and benefits,
its worth and the work required to maintain it.
    Each of us chooses what to do with our freedom. It’s one of the freedoms we have.
Now, how about a hotdog? Extra mustard, please.

 ~Cindy Bousquet Harris

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