Our world is entrenched in war, in mass killings and terror that spreads throughout the globe. I wake each day holding my breath as I listen to the headlines, afraid this may be the day that evil spreads to this great land I live in. I exhale an exhaustive relief that I am protected once again to carry out my life untouched by the excruciating and torturous acts that are carried out on the lives of millions far from my safe and comfortable home. There are countless innocent victims who have to endure such suffering of violence and hate, as they gasp for breath every day of their lives, and it sickens me. There are countries torn to shreds, and governments reigning with brutal dominance that strangle the very life from the human race.
And although our nation holds its breath every day waiting and worried for what’s to become of our people, our land, our future…
We still walk the streets of freedom.
Our country is certainly not without its crime and there are questionable pockets of injustice and jurisdiction. We seep dangerous and hideous acts that awaken our protective armor within walls of schools and streets of our fair cities, and we seek revenge with outcries for inequity and murderous slayings of innocent lives. We are surely not nestled in a soft blanket of barriers, but we are free. We may have ongoing convictions and challenges to face amidst our freedoms, but nonetheless we have rights to our choices.
I wake each day with the profound realization of this truth, as I am blessed to live in the land of the free. And with our annual remembrance of the day we all woke to the utter nightmare of evil invading our land on 9-11-2001, I am once again reminded of the sheer vulnerability of this great nation and the dangers that threaten our existence.
May we embrace and celebrate our daily walk in the streets of our homeland…
The land of the free.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to go anywhere I want to go, all alone. I can enter any place throughout the country without fearing for my life. I can travel beyond this great land if I so choose.
I am free to go anywhere I want to go.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning and read my bible, say my prayers, and take my bible anywhere without fearing for my life. I can see others proclaim their own faith as well, and I have the opportunity to witness and appreciate many different religious perspectives that color my landscape with both honor and curiousity.
I am free to believe anything I want to believe.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to say anything I want to say. I can share my opinion anywhere I want to share it. I have a voice and I am allowed to use it without fearing for my life.
I am free to speak.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning with the opportunity to be educated in any academic area I decide. I can take courses to learn about anything and buy books to explore any topic I desire. I have the opportunity to earn a degree in any field of interest and pursue a career without fearing for my life.
I am free to learn and pursue a career.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to pick out any outfit I so choose. I can dress however I wish and go anywhere displaying my adornment. I can wear make up and paint my nails and get my hair done, any way I desire. My appearance is part of my identity and I can reveal it freely without fearing for my life.
I am free to create my appearance however I wish.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to buy anything I want at any store I choose without fearing for my life. I walk into any store and buy any products that please me, helps me, and nourish me. I am free to purchase whatever I so desire without fearing for my life.
I am free to be a consumer in the land of plenty.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to eat anything I want to eat. I can choose to indulge in my choice of eateries and groceries without fearing for my life. I can create plates of delicious delicacies from all over this land and all over the world.
I am free to choose my diet in our land of abundant food.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to choose any person I want to invite into my life. I can pick my friends, and I can fall in love with any man I choose and marry him without fearing for my life. I can end relationships and begin new friendships.
I am free to choose the people in my life.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to choose to bear arms in order to protect my home and my land and myself. I can buy a firearm if I am in fear for my life. I can own a weapon in a secure place to keep my loved ones and me safe from harm.
I am free to keep myself protected from danger with a firearm.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to birth children with any man I so desire. I can have as many children as I want, and I can birth them in a safe and secure environment that offers medical treatment to ensure our health. I can be a mother of my children without fearing for our lives.
I am free to have as many children as I desire.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to raise my children with my values and faith without fearing for our lives. I can teach them anything I choose, send them to any school, and give them the same opportunities I am given. I have the ability to make all decisions for them as their guardian and caregiver.
I am free to raise my children however I wish.
I am thankful that I can wake each morning to vote for or against every law and bill and leader that runs my community, my state, and my nation. I am free to take part in any campaign or organization of politics that I desire without fearing for my life. I am free to run for any candidacy that I am passionate about and take action to make changes for any laws or governing decisions anywhere in this great land.
I am free to vote and invest in our laws of the land.
These freedoms come with a price; a sacrifice of countless lives is the cost.
So I will wake every day to be thankful…
That I live in the land of the free.