Let Freedom Ring – Inez Knows
By Inez Lanns
When I asked the question, “What comes to mind when you think of the Fourth of July” the responses that I received were along the lines of “BBQ,” “Food,” “Picnic,” “Family” and “Beach.” Other common things that often come to mind are fireworks, red-white-and-blue, and the American Flag. I completely appreciate the day off, the holiday and time of celebration, but I always want to know why I am doing what I do. I like to see these days as more than just a day off. Independence Day, more commonly known as the Fourth of July is a federal holiday which celebrates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence which took place on July 4, 1776. This is when the United States declared its independence from Great Britain. (For more info, check out http://www.usa.gov/Topics/
History is not one of my stronger subjects, but I have come to truly appreciate it. Many lessons can be learned when you look back in time – at people, situations, mindsets, culture, thought processes and more. Thinking back, it amazes me how thirteen small colonies together decided they wanted to be independent. Now looking forward centuries later, the United States has grown tremendously and changed so much over time.
Independence means freedom from the control, influence, support, aid, or like of others (dictionary.com). When I think of our country, there are things that automatically come to mind, such as the patriotic song with lyrics that state: “My country ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrims pride, from every mountain side, let freedom ring!” (My Country ‘Tis Of Thee (America) by Samuel Francis Smith). We used to sing songs like these regularly during elementary school which displayed love for our country through song. Those lyrics bring about a sense of pride and gratitude for the freedom we are fortunate enough to have in our country. I also think of the end of the Pledge of Allegiance, which states: “with liberty and justice for all.” Liberty means freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control; freedom from external or foreign rule; independence (dictionary.com). We live in a place where many people gave their lives and fought for us to be able to enjoy the freedom and liberation we are born with here in the United States.
Although we live in a free country many people walk around imprisoned and in bondage. Some are imprisoned by fear – the fear to step out on their real passion and dreams, fear of failure, fear of not being accepted. Many are enslaved and controlled by other people in so many different ways. Here in our free country people are in bondage to money, power, media, substance and more. The question is: are you free? Or are you living in a free country but imprisoned? Do you feel liberated and at ease?
There were others that came before us who fought for our freedom. They paid the price for liberty, and it belongs to each one of us. It is our birth right as U.S. Citizens. Don’t allow yourself to be imprisoned and enslaved to things that you need not be. Don’t allow people or circumstances to control you – that is not true freedom. Some are not aware that freedom is available to them because they have been trapped all of their lives. The song says, “From every mountain side, let freedom ring!” In other words, from the north to the south and the east to the west, on every side of the hills freedom has been declared. It belongs to all of us. Walk in liberty. This freedom and independence is the reason why we have the fireworks, the BBQs, the feasts and festivities. It is a time for celebration! Do not take freedom for granted. Don’t just celebrate your freedom, but also exercise it.
Inez Lanns was born and raised in Ventura County. She currently owns an Internet Marketing & Communications business called Inez Knows. She also writes on her blog on her web site: www.inezknows.com.