Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death Do I Really Still Have To Choose?
Liberty or Death? Was that ever really an option? And if it was, then it’s time for us to stop choosing. If ever given the opportunity, we will always choose life, liberty, and independence.
Freedom is a state that most living beings want to dwell in. For humans, freedom is the right to make the basic decisions in life with your will and customized to your personal preference. I truly believe freedom is indeed a beautiful thing, but only if that freedom doesn’t have any adverse effects on anyone else. Your freedom cannot trounce, burden, or harm someone else. Independence is the state in which one can live free from the unwanted rule or burden from someone else or another groups’ unsolicited opinion of how my life should be conducted.
I ask myself often are we living with those basic truths and are we ever truly free or truly independent? I personally believe to live free one has to be willing to let everything go and not become a slave to those things not natural to our human condition. We can make our self free and yes, even in a state of captivity, freedom is possible. Freedom, though outwardly displayed as physical, is a state of mind that is a personal choice and controlled by you and you alone through your actions and your thoughts.
Independence on the other hand seems to be directly affected by the actions of man. Over the course of history and throughout time, we find individuals and groups of people who have had to ask, demand and even fight for their independence from another man, woman or groups of people. Independence seems to be the dark sheep of life that has no problem taking away one’s freedom. We have seen this from rebellions in Greece and Indonesia, Yugoslavian and Turkish uprising and countless battles and wars throughout the world that independence is not free and it is questioned and challenged over and over again throughout time.
More recently we have seen in 2012 Ren Jianyu was sentenced to two years in a labor camp for political re-education in China for speaking out against government policies and ordering a T-shirt online that said, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.” We also see in America, there is a claim of freedom which is protected by the Constitution; however, in our so called democracy, freedom is constantly tested by a government that continuously passes laws and policies that contest our independence. Plus, the actions of many individuals or groups constantly challenge our freedom. This shows that centuries of conflicts still hasn’t curtailed the actions surrounding freedom and independence
So freedom to me would be me not having to have a talk with my son about how to conduct himself when stopped by the police and him not being more likely to be stopped because he is a young black man. Freedom would be me not worrying about my daughter’s natural hair when she goes to school or if someone will see her nonconforming actions as just that of another angry black woman. Freedom would be groups of immigrants not being held to a different standard than others and families unwillingly separated. Freedom would represent me as a black man without a higher likelihood to die from an encounter with police. Freedom would be individuals not judged by anything but the content of their character and their actions. And at the bare minimum, freedom would be a populace who doesn’t for any circumstances whatsoever find the need to have to make a choice of Liberty or Death because enough people have paid the cost of Death for me.