September 22, 2007


When posed the question of what freedom meant, a 10-year-old student's entry to the Weekly Reader's Operation Tribute to Freedom essay contest gave a thoughtful response, uncharacteristic of a mind that might ordinarily turn to skateboards, baseball and video games.

Text of Kevin Young's Winning Essay, "Freedom"

I am a ten-year-old boy living in the United States of America — a country that stands for freedom. Today, I woke to the chirping of birds. On the other side of the world, another boy is waking up to the frightening sound of blasting bomb.

It was a time to go to school so I chose to wear a T-shirt and shorts because I could make that decision. On the other side of the world, a young girl had a choice, too. She could wear a veil or get whipped.

Then I went to school to learn about our world, including math, English, history and science and technology. I was learning how to make the world a better place. On the other side of the world, a boy was learning how to fight in combat and survive or be killed. For the girl, school was not allowed. But she wanted to learn. So she went to school in secret, but was taking a big risk.

After school, I went to play soccer and visited with all of my friends. On the other side of the world, the boy and girl went and tried to earn some money or went to look for food and water for their family.

At night, as I slept in my nice, warm bed, I dreamed of a world filled with freedom for the little boy and girl on the other side of the world.

* I thought that this essay was worth sharing. It makes me realize, once again, that we must never take for granted the freedom that we have in this country.


rockync said...

I think if we gave the children of the world a chance to express their thoughts and feelings, we adults would be very ashamed of our behavior. There is nothing like seeing yourself reflected in the eyes of a child to cut through all the BS.

Vin De Vine said...

Well said rockync

GUYK said...

Yep, the kid has some understanding of freedom beyond his years.

I didn't understand what freedom was about until I spent some time in some of the third world countries and even Europe where they just think they have freedom. The freedom to own a home..a private home, work at a job where the government doesn't take the majority of our earnings to provide for the social programs, a public education system that is open to everyone regardless of sex color creed or sexual preference, the right to keep a firearm in one's home for protection, and the freedom of speech are liberties that most of the world can only imagine and probably will never have.

sue said...

Well said, everyone.