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‘What Freedom Means To Me’

Leigh writes third-place Sertoma essay

April 18, 2011
Messenger News

By Rob Leigh

Phillips Middle School

Mr. Newman/Mr. Hatcher

Third Place

$100 Savings Bond

"It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have these three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either."

Those are the words of Mark Twain. He was right. People tend to forget how lucky we are to live in a country where we can say what we want, vote, and choose our own career.

One thing I like about freedom is the ability to say whatever I want, or freedom of speech. For one thing, I have opinions that I want to share, everyone does. I have opinions on food, school, the government, and much more. Opinions are a good thing. If we didn't have opinions, nobody would be different. We wouldn't argue about the soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan, and all of the ballots from every single vote would be empty! The United States thinks that opinions are good, but other countries don't. If you said something about the president that he didn't like, in some countries you would be imprisoned for life, in other countries you would be dead. Freedom of speech is priceless!

Another thing I like about freedom is that we can vote. A lot of people think it's a huge burden, but think about it, we have the ability to choose our own leader. We have the power to change our future depending on who we elect as president, governor, or mayor. Voting is a big responsibility, even for little things. Many times if we go to the movies and can't agree on what movie to watch you usually say, "Let's take a vote." From voting on what movie to watch to choosing our next president, voting is something that we do every day. Now, in some countries, there's no such thing as voting. The leadership is passed through family members or there is a dictatorship. Voting is a huge part of freedom.

The third thing on my list of what freedom means to me is being able to choose my career. Choosing what to do for the rest of your life is a big choice. I am even more happy that I have that choice. We can choose to be a doctor, teacher, animal trainer, or anything else. We even have the choice to enlist in the military. Another reason I like this freedom is because I like to be in control of my future. Everybody wants their future to be a good one, so make it a good one. You could have such a great future if you have a paying job that you enjoy. In some countries, children's jobs are chosen for them based on their grades. I think that is an unfair system.

So enjoy your freedom. Because living in a country where you have freedom of speech, voting rights, and the ability to choose your career is the most priceless thing in the world.



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