Today in class we had a discussion about what liberty meant to each of us. We all agreed on one simple phrase, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. Liberty was the one right that the government couldn’t take away from the citizens, and that stayed the same no matter what. It wasn’t until later in the conversation that things got a little more confusing. I was surprised that many of the other students in my group had thought about liberty in such a different way than I had. They thought about how criminals were denied their liberties since they had violated laws, and ended up in prison. We were all generally in agreement with what liberty was at a basic level, but of course it meant something different to each specific person. Many of my group members thought of liberty as something that everyone has, but that it could be taken away. I had never thought about it that way before and it was good to hear the perspectives of others.
Liberty means something different to everyone, it differs depending where you are from, what your gender is, and even what your race is. It is a very hard thing to define, but to me liberty is the freedom to make your own choices, and not have to worry about what the government will have to say about them. Our nation was founded on the ideals of “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. To be completely honest, living in the United States I don’t think about liberty very often. We live in a society where Liberty is so normal, that many citizens don’t even give it a second thought. Other countries such as Russia or Iran don’t have the same civil liberties that we do. Especially in Iran the citizens live in fear of that the Ayatollah will do to them if they disobey the rules that the government has set forth for them. In the United States the government doesn’t interfere with our lives the way other countries do. I feel very lucky that I live in a country where our liberties are protected. The government doesn’t make us follow unrealistic rules, or punish us harshly for the mistakes that we make. I take my liberty for granted. My right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness has never been questioned. Liberty is something that I believe should never be questioned and/or taken away from anyone. One of the many things that set America apart from other countries is liberty. Our citizens have a luxury that many others do not. There are many things wrong with our society, there are laws that should be changed, policies that should be lifted, but as a whole our society is far better off than many others. I am proud to live in a nation where I don’t have to question my liberties on a daily basis. Although I can find many faults in the government, one thing that they got right was to allow all citizens of the United States the right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”.