Are Freedom and Liberty At Risk?
Shades of Gray
A small child has a remarkable way of looking at the world. Most small children can only see the world as black and white. They are incapable of seeing things as shades of gray. Children need adults to try and teach them the best way to interpret and understand the world. Unfortunately, as a parent, no matter how hard we try, we can not answer all their questions.
As a parenting blogger, this particular post has taken me over two weeks to write. It was not because I did not want to write it, but because I still do not have an answer.
The events in Boston were horrific, to say the least. It was they type thing that I felt my 4 year-old son did not need to watch on television. However, I did occasionally look at the events on my laptop. Even with my best attempts as a father, Xander did see one scene on my laptop that made an impact on him. He saw the tanks that were used in shutting down Boston.
Xander frowned at my computer monitor, and he looked at me and said, “Why are there tanks in that city?“
One of the hardest jobs in the world is being a parent, especially when you do not know how to answer a question. I smiled at Xander as I turned my laptop off and answered him, “I honestly do not know son.“
I have thought about my son’s question for over a week now, and I still can not answer it satisfactorily to myself. I am not wanting to debate anyone about the merits of protecting people from acts of terrorism. I am a father and want to find a way to explain to my son how we became a nation so afraid that we were willing to give up our freedom and liberty.
I think an act of terrorism is scary but so is when we drive on the highway. When I drive on the highway, I can not control what others drivers are doing. I can not stop them from hitting my car. The only thing I can do to maintain my safety is watch other drivers with constant vigilance.
I understand that we need to feel safe, but in the process of feeling safe, we are teaching our children that they are neither safe nor free. We are teaching them they are not safe from random acts of terrorism. When the city of Boston was shut down we were showing children they are not free to play or go to school.
I was always led to believe that terrorism is about instilling fear. Terrorist like to cause chaos and disruptions in our daily lives. I think that when Boston was locked down, even for a minute, we allowed terrorism to win. We have allowed someone else to create so much fear in ourselves that we brought an American city to a grinding halt and placed our freedom and liberty at risk.
I can not answer my son’s question, and I am not so sure I like some of the things I have heard since the event. Last week, the mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg spoke about the cost of keeping Americans secure and feeling safe at a press conference. He agreed that the world was complex but for an American to feel safe we need to rethink about our constitutional rights.
And our laws and our interpretation of the Constitution, I think, have to change.
I can only speak for myself, but I am not willing to rethink about the interpretation of the constitution based on fear. I might not have the answers my son wants, but I will teach him that giving up our freedom and liberty for an illusion of safety is not the answer.
I am not wanting to challenge the right to feel safe. I want to know if you would feel safer when a city is locked down. What if it had been your city? How would you explain it to your children? Do you think our liberty and freedom are at risk? Tell me more in the comments!
I am participating in the #AtoZchallenge and the letter L is for Liberty. (I have no hope of ever catching up on the challenge but I will finish it).
Read my last post here Is It Easier or Harder Being A Kid Today?
If you like my blog you can follow me by clicking NetworkedBlogs
Tags: acts of terrorism
, freedom and liberty