Independence Day | Are We Really, Truly Free?

117 years ago, we broke loose from the shackles of the Spanish regime.
After three centuries, we were finally a free nation. All that bloodshed and sacrifices made by our forefathers finally amounted to something.
We were free.
The price of freedom may be steep but it gave us our own identity.
As we celebrate Independence Day I can’t help but wonder, are we really free?
We we able to protect the prize of years of war and used it to propel us forward?
Not to sound depressing but, in an ideal world, freedom is absolute.
We would be totally free from any type of oppression; we should be free to do what we want without fearing consequences.
But we are not in an ideal world.
And our freedom is not absolute.
But that’s okay.
For a society to survive, it needs some sort of regulation. And that’s why we have our government. It’s there to ensure that we are free to live comfortably as long as we adhere to acceptable laws.
And that should be okay.
Without regulation, there would be chaos.
What gets me thinking is that, over the years, many of us have abused the freedom we have. It’s a privilege and therefore something that has to be handled properly.
Sadly, it seems like many have taken it for granted. Some even went as far as using it to fuel their greed and step on others.
We are ruled by a lot of corrupt officials. Their greed has made them look past the sanctity of freedom. They used their powers to steal from us–right under our noses.
They use their positions as a free pass to mistreat others.
They forget the essence of their jobs and put their needs above others.
The sad part is they seem to always get away with it.
I wonder how our dead ancestors would feel if they can see the state of the nation now.
The freedom they paid for with their lives is now being used to enrich the lives of people who don’t deserve it.
That is what’s sad about this whole thing.
Independence Day should be a celebration. But I just can’t help but think if it’s as joyous as it should be.
Until we have presidents who are found to have stolen for us…
Until there are little kids being shooed away from restaurants when all they want is a few crumbs of food…
Until there are eager students that are not given the chance for education…
Until there are sick people who are refused service by government hospitals…
Until the common folk doesn’t get the proper services from local government officials…
Until there are individuals who are discriminated against because of their race, sexual preferences, or social class…
We may not be able to claim that we are totally free from oppression.
It took our forefathers three hundred years to dethrone the cruel rulers.
It may take us that long before we can finally break free from the societal problems that imprison us.
But it doesn’t matter.
What matters is it’s going to happen one day. We may not be alive to see that day but, at least, our descendants will.
We may not be able to enjoy absolute freedom for now but it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the next best thing.
And that’s our responsibility to take care of the freedom we hold so dear.

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