I turn 41 today. I am no more free today than I was when I turned 40.
I really should not say I am not free. That is a complete misrepresentation. I mean, look at me, here I am typing the words that I want free to say nearly anything I want. I can even post any youtube video I want. Can the bloggers in China say that? Are you even allowed to blog in China?
I know an old Russian man. He is an amazing person. I respect and love him like an uncle or even a grand father. He is wise. He is thoughtful. He has shared with me the horrors of living in a communist state. He told me how people in Russia, even to this day for the older generations, are fearful to even whisper complaints about the government in the privacy of their own homes. He has known people who simply disappeared in the middle of the night. Just gone, poof, no record of their existence other than the memories that their friends and families hold inside their brain. Can you imagine?
As Americans, we can not fathom this although he points out many similarities. He talks about hate speech and warns what a fine line we are walking when we attempt to define hate speech. He says you either have freedom of speech or not, and, if you do, you have to take the good with the bad.
He, an Obama supporter until recent years, talks about how scary the IRS is for targeting certain groups, how cell phone surveillance should frighten any citizen, how a media that is controlled and tells only one side of the story is reminiscent of communism and how it used media to spread its propaganda, and on and on.
On this day, I turn 41. I was feeling down about not being where I want to be, but I realize all good things come in time with hard work and planning. And everything that is meant to be will be!
Most importantly, we are free … somewhat for now anyway:-)