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  • Larissa Martin

How I have limited freedom and how I have learned to be grateful for it:

By definition, freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.

I am disabled. I am not able to drive, so I’m dependent on aids or family members to go out and do whatever I want when I want and I have to have someone with me at all times no matter what. It sucks honestly. I do have my best friends who do take me out and we do things together for a few hours. Every so often, I have a glimpse of what freedom tastes like. It is the best thing in the world. Imagine being dropped off somewhere and you’re alone. It sounds boring, right?

For me, it is paradise because I am never alone.

So being able to have that alone time gives me a freedom that some may take for granted. Because of my lack of freedom, I am able to enjoy life a little more. I really understand what freedom is and how to not take it for granted in whatever form freedom comes to me. I believe if people would just have a taste of my lack of freedom they would truly understand what freedom can look like when they are in someone else’s shoes. With that have a new found meaning of what freedom truly is, they can have a better grasp of it and enjoy life a little more. What I don’t think people realize is that their freedom can be taken away from them at any moment, whether by an illness, disability or a crime at any point in time in their lives. If they think about it that way and view all aspects of their lives like freedom, it might be more clear to them.

I think to truly understand freedom you have to have a lack of it to some degree, to understand how important it is, because having it matters. It’s needed to empathize with others who can’t experience it. It is also needed to help those have some much needed freedom in their lives. By doing that, and really seeing how having just the littlest bit of freedom can make all the difference in someone else’s life. I know for me it has and it will continue to for the rest of my life. That is what having a lack of freedom has taught me, and I will teach it to others.

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