This I Believe

Hillary - Littleton/CO/80122, Colorado
Entered on November 18, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

Ever since I was a child, I have been taught to always value freedom over everything. I hold this value supreme because of my citizenship of possibly the greatest country in the world, the United States. Millions of American men and women throughout history have gone into war to defend all for which the United States stands. Every soldier, every mechanic, every tank driver; they all want to protect the sanctity of freedom. But what is this value that people would pay the ultimate price to protect?

History tells tale after tale of groups revolting against the leaders of their countries for freedom. Freedom is intangible; it is an ideal. One man’s freedom is quite different than another man’s. A generally accepted definition is when one is free to do as one pleases and as makes one happy. The power of this ideal is enough to turn over entire civilizations. The American Revolution, for example, led to the utter division of the English culture. We, Americans, are a free people by any definition of the word. The purity of our freedom is what I truly believe is most powerful and beautiful about our country.

In my world, there is nothing, nothing that I can’t accomplish. I am free to write a cynical paper that attacks everything for which this country stands. I am free to openly criticize the men and women in charge of my state. I can protest against anything and everything that I believe is unjust. Whatever I do to weaken and attack the United States, I am always protected by its principles, the majority of them being the freedoms of the individual. Freedom is the power to attack that which protects us. Freedom is the ability to fulfill dreams. Freedom is that which humanity does and always will crave.

As the direction of my life moves slowly towards college, I am beginning to fully understand the extent of the opportunities that freedom offers me. I am a woman; which makes me inferior to men in all but a few other countries. But here, I am as free as any man and any other woman. I will get a complete education, something that has just recently become an option for women thanks to the spirit of freedom. I can be a doctor, a lawyer, a politician, or even be a housewife and raise a family that is blessed with all the freedoms I have. This, I believe, is freedom.