This I Believe

Joshua - Taylor, Pennsylvania
Entered on January 23, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: freedom
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

I believe that people need to wake up. No, not physically wake up. (Well, technically they do, but that’s beside the point.) They need to realize that ‘freedom’ is nothing but a word. Our world has changed; whether for the better or the worst is entirely up to you. Sure, you have the freedom to live where you want. You also have the choice of doing whatever you want, whenever you want. But when you really think about it, how much freedom do we truly have? You have the freedom to buy a shirt at Hollister, or food for the week. You’d think it would be a given; that’d we be full & naked than starving and clothed, right? Think again. Most people value image over health. Why else would people stop eating to fit into a prom dress? There’s always the option to buy cheaper clothes, but then you’d look terrible. How will you live without your striped polo shirts? Oh, sorry. I’ve taken this essay and turned it into a trash can for my personal vendetta. My question is, “Have we truly appropriated our freedoms?” Many people I know relinquish their freedom for the “love” of others. Walking through the halls, I can’t help but hear the incessant chattering. “I can’t believe so-and-so was cheating on me!” My mind becomes cluttered with words I don’t dare say.

“You knew all along he’d cheat on you.” I scream to no one in particular. “He was freaking bragging about dating two girls!”

“I just wish men weren’t such jerks, don’t you?” she continues. “I wish I could find a nice guy to go out with.”

“No, you don’t. To you, nice guys are boring.” I think to myself. They’re submissive, unlike the ones you’re so used to. I wonder if they’re all masochists; enjoying the fact that they’re abused on a daily basis. They eventually crawl back to them, as if they were wrong. “How pathetic they truly are,” I mutter under my breath, passing by another couple of Hollister-clad mannequins. But I suppose I’ve strayed from my main topic. For the most part, children have their lives laid out for them by their parents. If a boy is born into an affluent family, he is friends with other affluent children. They will be taught that life is simple as long as your pockets are lined with gold. Should the boy’s family be poor, he will soon learn that nothing in life is free. Even his “free-will” is restricted in this world. “Land of the free,” how naïve that line sounds when newspapers are silenced for saying something like, “President Bush is an incompetent fool!”