The felicity of freedom

I do not feel connected to Israel’s independence, nor America’s.

My heart does not swell enough on Yom HaAtzmaut, nor does it burst with pride on July 4th.

I am neither a loyal patriot nor a faithful expat.

I

am

clearly

a spoiled brat.

Or a heartless wench.

One or the other.

If I were put on the spot and asked why I am so numb when it comes to celebrating freedom, I’d choose spoiled brat.

Entitlement is what happens when you have always had something come easy and come free.

My freedom has always been free. And you are less likely to celebrate what you have always gotten for free.

If my freedom was a gift only to the 1000th citizen born on every third year — like a raffle or a supermarket prize — maybe I would jump up and down for joy.

If my freedom was a surprise miracle in a barren wasteland — like Sarah conceiving Isaac in her old age or a lone soaptree yucca surviving the desert heat of Death Valley — maybe then I would thank God in silent prayer.

If my freedom was one true thing in a sea of falsities — like my breath, like my love for my children — perhaps then I would weep tears of gratitude.

But my freedom is free.

And my freedom has never come with strings attached.

And my freedom will be here tomorrow, or so my entitled mind tells me.

We only know what we know.

And so therefore, on the 4th of July or any other day I choose, I must stop.

Pause.

Acknowledge.

The good fortune with which I was born.

The grace of good men and good women who do not know the life I know.

The felicity of FREEdom.

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5 thoughts on “The felicity of freedom

  1. I worked very hard to attain my own personal freedom and it is therefore one of the most valuable things I own. I guess it has influenced my approach to freedom in general.

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    • I totally hear you on personal freedom, Devora. I considered adding something to this post about personal freedom, but realized it was more than I want to tackle in this particular post. I also think it’s a more complicated concept to relate to. And also harder to quantify than independence (in a patriotic sense)

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