Explaining Freedom to a Seven Year Old
Going over one of the many lessons I taught my seven year old son, the one that stuck out the most was about freedom. Freedom has always been one of those special, but invisible things we took for granted growing up in my generation that loved and sparked the ’90s entertainment and music industry. What was freedom? Why was it so important that it took wars and
sacrificed lives to gain it?
For our lesson to explain freedom, I drew three people. Each smaller than the first. So a person within a person, within a person. To begin to explain this illustration I must first explain the true definition of freedom or liberty.
1. A state of exemption from the power or control of another; liberty; exemption from slavery, servitude or confinement. Freedom is personal, civil, political, and religious. [See Liberty.]
2. Particular privileges; franchise; immunity; as the freedom of a city.
3. Power of enjoying franchises.
4. Exemption from fate, necessity, or any constraint in consequence of predetermination or otherwise; as the freedom of the will.
5. Any exemption from constraint or control.
6. Ease or facility of doing any thing. He speaks or acts with freedom.
7. Frankness; boldness. He addressed his audience with freedom.
8. License; improper familiarity; violation of the rules of decorum; with a plural. Beware of what are called innocent freedoms.http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/freedom
With the first definition taken from the Webster’s 1828 Dictionary that our Founding Fathers used back in the day, you can see we obtain freedom through four facets: personal, religious, civil, and political.
We must first learn to control our own actions, thoughts, and deeds, which is tied directly to a person’s beliefs. How someone thinks, so they will be. What they have believed and transformed into inner knowledge, becomes their actions to the outside world. So to my seven year old I say,
“Son, there are a lot of people in this world that would like to tell you how to be, how to act, what you can say or not say, or what kind of job you will get based on scoring, but if you learn to control how you react to situations, learn how to control your emotions, learn to build your faith in the only source of Truth this world has ever been privy to, which is Jesus Christ, you will rule cities and nations some day. Greater is a man who can rule his own soul then one who gains riches and loses his soul. You, my son, will be a man that rules a city!”
Christ shows us how to set ourselves free from bondage, fear, pride, desires, lusts, and those things that pull us into a life of selfishness. After all, those that stay in their own bubble eventually push others away and are alone for they only seek after those things that please themselves. Jesus Christ is the ultimate body of selflessness and sacrifice. His love sets us free to be who He created us to be. We don’t have to walk around afraid to be ourselves. To try something new. Go for that promotion. Take a chance on that book. Start your own business.
Our Founding Fathers knew this to be true.
Without inner freedom we could not
produce from ourselves civil freedom.
The way we react to others around us in our local communities and governments depend on how much control we have of our self. Those with true character that’s been tried and proven will hold fast to their beliefs without wavering. This type of person creates an atmosphere of freedom for others. They bring to the table the knowledge that a strong soul bears witness to those freedoms coveted by all. They will fight for freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom to protect yourself and your family, the freedom to work and earn wages, the freedom to start your own business and enterprise, the freedom to one’s own property of body and that which is legally owned through purchase or trade. With men and women like this in our civil authorities like police departments, schools, judges, mayors, governors, and business owners, we have a plowed field with seeds watered from those before and fruit that grows up and out….out to the political farm called Government.
When our men and women who protect our freedoms from within reach the positions of leadership, they branch out to the political arena where those neighbors and friends around them honor them by placing them in these heavily responsible positions. It was once an honor to have been chosen for your name, that is one that was built on honesty and fairness. Now with the lack of those who really love freedom in leadership in the political arena, we have a government that is choosing things for us. Gone are the days we represented the people. Now those that cheat their way to top, or step on the efforts of another to gain what they desire are the very ones that are in control of your outward freedoms.
But a people who are truly free from the inside out can never be squelched or silenced. These are those from whom new days and eras are birthed and nations truly transformed.
So my son knows that to rule means he must first conquer himself and show his character from within to prove he is free.
Whom the Son has set free, is free indeed!
Living for Freedom One Day at a Time,
Shawna R. Strickland