Do I really live in the lap of luxury?

So right now, I’m donating plasma. I’m saving up for a new pair of work boots, which aren’t cheap! In other words, for the next forty minutes I am chained to this chaise by several feet of plastic tubing; but that doesn’t mean that I can’t just get up and leave or something if I were so inclined. I’m free to leave.

Syrians & Egyptians Protesting Against Assad C...
(Photo credit: FreedomHouse)

Speaking of freedom – given the fantastic amount of news coverage over the past few years of the so-called “Arab Spring“, it’s amazing that I don’t see more articles about just how good we have it. The newest thing, of course, is the crap going on in Syria, and the discussion over whether or not the American government/military should get involved. I honestly think we should do something in a very efficient way; we don’t need to send half the military back over there, and we don’t need to throw a ton of taxpayers’ money at it.

But what I really think – I sit back and think, thank Bob we’re not them. Is that selfish? Self-centered? I don’t know. Probably not. But I feel bad for them – not just the Syrians, but all who are oppressed, living life in a heavily restricted society; it gives fresh and poignant meaning to the freedom we Americans are raised to laud. Those songs we grow up singing –

Long may our land be bright | with freedom’s holy light | from every mountainside | let freedom ring. . .

The land of the free | and the home of the brave.

They’re not just paying lip service to the nation – they’re all about our greatest values. Now I can’t imagine what the anthems of the Middle East sound like, but I wonder if there’s any mention of freedom in the patriotic tunes of Egypt or Syria? And of course, the Middle East isn’t the only region in the world that doesn’t fully enjoy the luxury of Western-style freedom – there’s military dictatorships in Africa too, and don’t even get me started on North Korea.

If it sounds like I’m naïve, then I probably am. I’m willing to admit it.

Long story short – the freedom we enjoy in the Western world – to say what we like, write what we like, do what we like within reason – that’s the one luxury that I can not live without, and in fact I would rather come to a violent end fighting to retain or regain said freedom than to live under the thumb of an oppressive regime, thereby standing as an example of its tolerability.

They may be watching us, but at least we are still free.


This post was prompted by today’s Daily Post prompt.

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