What Does Freedom Look Like?

I wrote this for Fourth of July and shared it on one of my social media channels. I woke up this morning with so much of this still on my mind. I think it’ll be relevant for a long time…we’re just getting started.

What if we aren’t really free? We celebrate the Fourth of July in remembrance of that day in 1776 when our Continental Congress declared that the thirteen colonies were no longer subject to the monarch of Britain. We became united and free, with independent states formed around these words from the Preamble of the United States Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Life. Liberty. Pursuit of Happiness.

How does Oxford define Liberty? “The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views.”

I’m not feeling the liberty. 

Today, as we celebrate our “freedom” with BBQ, alcohol, parades, fireworks, and all the pomp and circumstance we’ve come to expect from America’s biggest party, our elected representatives and their co-conspirators within the healthcare, pharmaceutical, and food industrial complexes are working together to continue the slow and steady chipping away of freedom and liberty that at one point in our history was a right for each of us. 

In some parts of the country, individual healthcare choices based on one’s personal religious beliefs are gone. In other states, doctors and moms have become the modern day witches, symbolically burned alive by news and social media mobs and the hundreds of billions of dollars big pharma, healthcare, and food spend buying our elected representatives — and buying us through glittery marketing campaigns promising a life that will never ever exist in this world.

Why am I so passionate about this? Because I think we are witnessing a health epidemic that is severely harming our children and causing long term, chronic damage to adults. I don’t believe it’s caused by a singular thing, but many things working together, piling up and creating a crisis of physical and mental health.

Have you ever wondered why there are so many peanut allergies today? Why is autism increasing at astronomical rates? Why is cancer spreading like wildfire? Where did this growing opioid crisis come from, and why is mental illness impacting so many families at such alarming rates. I don’t have the answers, but I also don’t think all of this is a fluke. 

What if our overly processed and genetically modified food is not safe? What if our prescription medicine, with all the side effects, is destroying our bodies and our minds? What if the real food we do grow is laced with so many chemicals that it’s actually a detriment to our health? Our leaders are bought and paid for by companies that could not give a rip about us or our children. They care only about money and power.

While the world, our news media, and our politicians are focused on measles, more than 47,000 people will die from opioids this year. 40 percent of those deaths will be from prescription overdoses. That’s at least 18,800 deaths from an overdose of pills created and sold by Big Pharma and prescribed by a doctor. Meanwhile, not a single death from measles in the United States so far this year. Don’t you find that odd? There’s no balance. It’s not rational. Something’s wrong. 

Maybe you don’t agree with me. That’s ok. I still think you and I should be on the same team. One day the power in government will shift and they’ll come after you. You have the same right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness that I have. We don’t have to agree, but we should stand united. It’s our best hope. 

As of right now, they have successfully divided you and me and, as Abraham Lincoln famously stated, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” We have more power together than we do separated and we should not be so quick to yield power to a government that will take all of the power for itself. 

I’m passionate about this because I believe there is a better way and I’m unwilling to sit quietly and watch what’s unfolding. If you stand quietly while someone else’s rights and liberties are taken from them, there’s a good chance that yours will be next. 

We aren’t free when we don’t have a choice. It’s that simple. We have less freedom this year then we did last year. One day, liberty will be nothing more than a dream, a hope, and something worth fighting for. It’s time to start asking some questions. It’s time to start demanding some changes. It’s time to start expecting more, to raise the bar, for ourselves and our families.

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