Reflections on Freedom


July 4th is American Independence Day and a time to reflect upon what freedom means to you. There are several ways to think about your personal freedom and the impact of your behaviours and choices on the people in your life at home, work and in your community.

Healthy dialogue normally helps to minimize conflict or confusion over the choices you make. Where breakdowns in dialogue or relationships occur in relation to decisions you have made, it is likely that your attempts to communicate your perspectives, values, and needs have failed to align with the people who are most important to you.

Liberty is truly a golden gift that we hold dear to our hearts and protect with care.

What does it signify when your values, beliefs, and choices are restrained by individuals or organizations whose power reduces your personal liberty and the freedom to respectfully voice dissent?

At the risk of running into profound waters on my blog, I do believe is important for all of us to reflect on the American ideal of liberty and where the world might be without this ideal.

Since I am posting this reflection, I also believe that we are all responsible for social media, online presences, and the tone in which it is created, marketed, and shared. Some of what I have read online is shocking and distasteful. Businesses ought to know better and some have paid a price for ill conceived ads and value positions contrary to the average peacekeeping and law abiding citizen.

Certainly, people have a need to express negative opinions and anger, but never at the expense of hurting or harming other people, especially those most vulnerable.

Freedom of speech is foundational to my personal sense of self. Where I am unable to express to speak up about my own points of view or perspectives, I move on to environments that in my view foster healthier dialogues. Speak up as your opinion matters – it’s healthy and it works to clear up any misinformation, myths, or bad actors. My motto is, we all have our say, but not necessarily our way. It is never too late to be the change you wish to see!

Be well and happy independence day to our neighbours and friends.

Published by Lisa Romano-Dwyer PhD, RSW

I am a registered social worker in the province of Ontario. I am currently creating professional resources for clinical practitioners.

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