When I think of liberty and all that comes with that word, I think of July 4th, fireworks, and our freedoms in the United States. I also think about the brave men and women who died to give us that right. Our focus for the month of July is liberty. We spent the month talking about ways in which caregivers can have liberty to implement care for self.
By definition, liberty refers to “the freedom to make choices and pursue activities that align with one’s values, goals, and preferences.” When there is no freedom to live our lives according to our own desires, it contributes negatively to our emotional well-being. Having the ability to make choices and have autonomy fosters a sense of control, self-determination, and fulfillment.
George Washington once said, “Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.” I can see why George Washington said this; the United States is an example of rapid growth of liberty and freedoms since the founding of our country. Humanity and society were able to foster positive emotional well-being; be all you can be was the result.
Who doesn’t want that kind of liberty and freedom? It is pretty clear the reason so many people are migrating here: to partake in the positive emotional benefits of being able to make choices and have autonomy.
George Bernard Shaw once said, “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” I recently saw a news channel segment of a New York neighborhood with 100,000 immigrants living in a hotel with overflow onto the streets. How is this liberty? Was the country they came from so awful that living on the street is better? I think about a quote from Abraham Lincoln, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” I question who is responsible for denying these immigrants the choice to pursue the liberties in their native country and should it not be the financial responsibility of their native country? To help this situation that is now a responsibility to the communities within our country?
We can argue immigration policies to death, regardless of the political side, but the point remains; the amount of people immigrating here are becoming the responsibility of communities, leaving many members of society without a sense of control.
I digress this month with a tirade of libertarian thoughts and it comes with no apologies as I am merely questioning the responsibility of the recent immigration surge. None the less, liberty and all that it means is relatable to caregiving and care receiving. Communities bearing the responsibility are now being the caregivers of the immigrants receiving support.
By embracing our freedom to engage with nature and recognizing our reciprocal connection, we can experience a greater sense of liberty, find solace and rejuvenation in nature, and contribute to the well-being of the environment and ourselves.
Moving forward with the importance of liberty, managing the caregiver stress in those communities and fostering emotional connections is most likely needed. Hopefully, someone is helping those communities with self-care so they can contribute to improved emotional well-being, because, after all, “liberty is the breath of life to nations.” ~ George Bernard Shaw