Freedom isn't Free

Freedom isn't Free

This July 4th has new meaning for me, first I have a son now so I think of his future and look back to the ancestors whom helped us get this far.

Pictured is my grandfather who fought in World World I, not only did he defend his country, he defended his family, originally from Memphis, he moved to Chicago to improve his life.

I had other ancestors do the same, they boarded trains from Texas & Louisiana and took their families to better areas for more opportunities.

But its important to remember the veterans like my grandfather and late father who served our country to protect that freedom to move. He did his share of working hard to protect us as a family and establish that the liberties we have just didn’t fall from a tree.

Its important to remember freedom is earned not given and that freedom is not content, its a constant defense and must be respected.

Today I am moving on from my job of the past nine years and its a big jump but its for my family to improve and that road has been paved by the hard working and pioneering men in my family. They broke barriers, worked to make things better for themselves and for those of us to come. That is not lost on me.

Remember our Constitution states “To Form a More Perfect Union”, that means its a work in progress. It also means we need to work at it and make sure we don’t take it for granted.

I have to quote the rapper and actor Ice T who stated “Freedom of Speech but watch what you say”. Freedom doesn’t mean you can just do whatever you want, there’s in containment in freedom and parameters. In other words we must be responsible and hold others responsible and not let them act like a damn fool.

I am always surprised to receive respect from people, I have just worked hard and tried to carry myself in the right way. Maintaining character is part of freedom, its not a license to thrill, yet like any license it must be earned and renewed.

I look at my young son and am careful to make sure he is cared for but not running wild either. I want to make sure he recognizes and respects his freedom but that its not to be abused and that their are limitations.

You hear people say “YOLO” (You Only Live Once), and yes we can risks but that doesn’t mean we can act as their are no repercussions for our actions. There is a reason there are prisons and not all prisons are physical jails. We must avoid putting ourselves in situations where we restrict our own freedom or someone elses.

We must respect ourselves and others, not just personally but with religion and beliefs. I understand we live in an over “political correctness” society but its our duty not to offend others or think our believes trump someone elses.

I know racial relations are strained right now and I’d be remiss not to mention the several church burnings down south. As a “church guy” myself that really gets to me, our house of worship is literally sacred and means so much to many of us. Church is an oasis and this country has the powerful right of freedom of religion, thus no intimidation can be tolerated.

Same with gun violence around the country no matter the color of the aggressor or victim, its just too much and just because the second constitutional amendment allows us “bear arms” it was created with militias in mind.

There are good reasons why there have been so many government rules from the Articles of Confederation to the Bill of Rights, The Constitution and other legislature on both a federal and state level. Because our freedom must be defined as well as defended and once we recognize that we can enjoy our freedom and make sure we never lose sight of it or those who helped us achieve it.

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    Charles W. Johnson

    I'm a lifelong writer (since I was 8 years old), and have been doing this blog in some form or fashion since 2004. I'm a DePaul University alum, class of 1999 and prior to that Brother Rice class of 1994. . And I appreciate you taking to the time to read what I have to say, feel free to email

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