There are many iconic things about America. Images and actions that are recognized around the world as distinguishably American. One of the most American of them all is the Statue of Liberty in New York, without a doubt. Growing up I remember seeing pictures of Lady Liberty and knowing exactly that whatever I was looking at or reading had to be about the United States.
In 2011 I stayed in New York for a week and Lady Liberty was on top of the list of things to go see. Approaching the statue on that little passenger ferry was really cool and it made me think what all those immigrants must have felt way back when they arrived by boat and passed by Liberty Island.
And then it made me think on what Liberty really means nowadays. How often we simply take it for granted. And how through the years some people were denied their liberty because of the way they look, the gender they are and most recently on who they love. Why is it that some people think that other people don’t deserve the same freedom. That if I don’t believe in Jesus for example I shouldn’t get the same liberties. Or if I am a man or woman that loves someone from their own gender, that somehow that takes away my freedom?
To me Liberty for all means just that!!! Freedom for everyone. Freedom to look they way we look, love the way we love, believe in what we believe. Live life the way we live. Without judgment, without having to hide, without anyone making us feel that we are less or wrong.
Now, of course freedom has its limits too, I get that. I had a conversation just recently and the other person pointed out, that then we could all just go steal and commit crimes. And no, obviously that is not what I mean. Stealing, murdering, scamming and defrauding are not the kind of freedom I talk about. I am talking about the freedom of expression and belief, no matter what skin color, gender, religion, nationality or sexual orientation you are.
We are so advanced in so many things and the above statement is now (sort of) followed in a lot of places. But it still doesn’t always apply, and that is what I was thinking about when I stepped on shore on Liberty Island.