As the Nation celebrates the fourth of July with stars and stripes, fireworks, and songs, keep in mind how free we really are today. Every American should be grateful for his/her freedom in this country, I am not dismissing that. However, we must acknowledge a greater picture, quite frankly, a question. I want you to question your freedom. Question your political leaders, question your medical providers, question your schooling, question your food. How free are you? Do you have a voice? Can you change what services you are being provided? Can you change how your food is being produced? You have a voice, but does it really have an effect if you dissent?
Currently, I am pursing a collegiate degree, thus I am quite aware of tuition prices, scholarships, and financial aid “awards.” Needless to say, the costs are astronomical and I receive no relief due to various government stipulations (but that’s another discussion). Either way, the point of me stating this is not to be bitter. I chose an alternative, a less expensive school. However, not many kids do this – later they leave with over 100K plus in loans. Is this the definition of freedom? College education was designed to benefit you – to turn you into an educated scholar – but leave you with enough money to function. I am not denying education is essential. Everyone deserves the right to an education. I believe education is a confidence builder, a product of human ingenuity, and a tool for creating a bigger, better, and brighter future. Yet, after college many graduates face a bleak future; a future filled with debt.
Our food system…it’s quite clever. In the 1970s something dramatic happened. Scientists realized high fructose corn syrup could be added to food to create a sweetening effect similar to sugar. But here’s the kicker, it was way less expensive. Soon, high fructose corn syrup took over. Today it dominates the food industry. Lunch meats, breads, crackers – products you would never normally imagine containing the stuff is a norm. Why are so many people suffering from weight gain, diabetes, illness, stomach issues, skin issues, food intolerances, allergies, etc.? Since the 1970s these health issues have risen dramatically. Is there a link?
I know a midwife who is fighting to keep her ability to provide gestational care to expectant mothers, and to deliver their babies. Midwifery dates back to Egyptian times – it’s nothing new. It provides natural and holistic care. Yet, states do not like midwives. Why? It’s outside the government-funded hospital. Hospitals make money. They are a business. Midwives, essentially, are pulling money away from the hospitals when expectant mothers choose to use a midwife over an obgyn. Is this freedom?
Now I am not a PhD psychologist or anything, but there’s this psychological mechanism that teaches obedience. After repeated instances of striking your cat for clawing on the sofa, not long after, when you raise your hand to him/her, he/she is frightened and does not do the undesirable act of clawing the sofa. You didn’t even have to strike the cat at that point, but the desired result follows.
Is the same true for us? We are free…but how free? We speak out, but if our opinions are different – the people in charge raise their hand, and the dissent is silenced. Look at the examples I just gave: schooling, food, health – how many people have spoken out in dissent about these topics? And how many people have been silenced?
If freedom is a sound, let it ring.