How I Demonstrate My Freedom.

When I first heard about this essay, I thought ‘how easy’…That was until I tried to put pen to paper. I realized I really didn’t know what ‘freedom’ was, or is. I asked my peers, who confused me even more. So I got out the ever faithful dictionary, which to my surprise let me down. Eventually I trudged home and overcame my cowardice and asked my Native American stepfather what the title meant. He helped me to ‘translate’ the bill of rights, which helped immensely. I have learnt so much from this assignment, coming from Australia; the names Abraham Lincoln and even George Washington were new to me, only hearing them from the Simpsons. I knew nothing of the declaration, all I knew was ‘America had a problem with England a long time ago, they had a tea party and got over it’. Which I see now wasn’t true at all, at least not in the accurate sense. I remember watching an American children’s show, and the word ‘red coats’ puzzled me- but I now know it was the name of the British soldiers.

The Bill of Rights shocked me. I mean that in a good way; in Australia we basically have the same rules but they aren’t written down, its like an unwritten law, an unspoken right whispered through the trees, that only the subconscious knows. Its like it was something we were born with, something we always had. I realize now that while we are born with freedom, we weren’t given much for a long time…I thought about it for a while, and a question appeared to be the centre of my thoughts unbeknownst to me. The question being ‘What if the shaping of America, shaped the world?’ The question inspired me to learn more about America, and the revolution that made Americans free.

I started by learning about British history, and I know what your thinking; what happened to her learning about American history? To know about American history, it requires a bit of background knowledge. I thought ‘What was King George the third really like? Was he a pain in everyone’s neck, or did he just have it in for America?’ I found out, he was a German man, and got up everyone’s nose, being called ‘George the terrible’ in The Very Bloody History Of Britain by John Farman. From what I learnt I wouldn’t have liked him much either. I then expanded to the Declaration of Independence. The fifty-six men who signed, were VERY brave, and honorable men in my opinion. To actually go behind the kings back like that, when the punishment was death by hanging must have been pretty nerve racking. If I was around back then, I don’t think I would have had the guts to sign it. It must have taken a lot of guts, courage, planning and intelligence to do something as big -and great- as that…

After my research I learnt that freedom is part gift, part right. It was a right given to us as a gift. Or a gift given to us as a right, either way you look at it, it ends up being both. My favorite parts of this gift would be; Amendment one; the right to choose my religion. In the history of Britain many Kings forced their subjects to be a certain religion, mainly catholic I noticed. Amendment nine; The Government cannot discriminate against one (or one type of) person. Finally Amendment ten; States can have their own rights in compliance with the constitution. I like the idea of being able to customize your rules to suit the type of environment you live in. However I personally object to some states overruling gay marriages, I feel they have just as much right as human beings to get married as anyone else, I feel this is breaching the ninth amendment.

I never realized how much the world changed, or is changing because of America. When I think about it, we Australians would probably be a whole lot different if it wasn’t for America, I like the way President George Bush, and Prime Minister John Howard are communicating with each other, if only the rest of the world would follow suit. I just realized, by writing this essay, I have demonstrated my freedom! Freedom to have an opinion and freedom of speech. It is quite exhilarating to notice this! I’ve got shivers running down my spine!

Just think, if I had written what my peers said; ‘Write this, I am demonstrating my freedom by not writing this essay’ I would have not only looked like I was talking pure balderdash, but really I would have been doing what I was supposed to be demonstrating against- writing the essay! I also would not have learnt anything. Because of writing this essay I have a new perspective on America, Britain, Australia, the world and my life. I feel it has opened up new doors to new worlds, ones I will fight to keep open for the rest of my life.

See here for details, I won money for this :D