What Freedom Means to Me

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What Freedom Means to Me:
An American Ideal Defined Through the Eyes of a Teenager

Intro to U.S. History 101-03 Prof. Paul Elovitz
Claudia Molina February 1, 2013
Cmolina1@ramapo.edu
201-491-4761

Freedom means many different things to many people, but to me it means I can live in a country that believes in life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I mean this is the “Land of the Free”. However, these are things that not everyone can experience. Freedom to me also means I can make my own decisions when it comes to my life; decisions that can make or break my future life. Freedom also gives me the chance to make my own mistakes regarding of my life and my futures. I guess the government does believe in us that maybe that is why they made the legal age 18 instead of any other age. To me having freedom also means that I do not have to listen to my parents and teachers, well to some extent, because if it was not for them I would have not gotten to where I am today.

The good thing about having freedom is that I can choose what major I want to study and then I can change my mind later on in life and change it again. This is something that other countries do not have. As a college freshman, I still define freedom through my teenage eyes, even though I am no long a teen. Going back to “Land of the Free”, I find it incredible and motivating how the idea of freedom has grown, changed, and has adapted through the years. It is funny to think that the freedom we have in present day America is not the same as it was when our founding fathers founded the United States of America. Not only has the view on freedom changed through the years but it has also changed through how younger people view the world compared to older people. For example older generation such as, traditionalist, baby boomers, and generation x have always viewed the world with optimism and my generation, millennial, view this world being realistic. We are more realistic about the world and the freedom we are given.

We live in a country that is very democratic, something that not everyone has and is not able to experience. North Korea and Cuba are just some of the countries that do not have democracy but instead have to live in a world filled with communist leaders. Democracy means a government governed by the people. It also means a form of government in which the supreme power is within the people of the land. So to make things simpler, democracy means that the people within the states or country choose who will represent them in the higher courts and then they vote who will be their representatives.

I was born in Cuba but I came when I was four years old. Maybe if I would have stayed longer I would have probably not understood why so many people want to come to America. It never occurred to my mom and I that we would end up here, but things changed and here we are now fifteen years later. At the age of four I really did not pay that much attention to the world around me. I only wanted to play with my friends, watch cartoons on the TV, and just have fun. However that all changed when my mom remarried and we knew we were coming to America. When I got here there was one thing that stood out to me even as a four year old. There was a lot more television shows on the TV. Way more than what I was watch in Cuba. Yes, that is something that Cuba tries to keep to a minimum. At most there are seven channels. That is not even my top favorite channels here. Here we have the freedom to choose what we want to watch, what information you can access, and we do not have a limit of TV usage. In Cuba there is a certain limit on how much TV a child can watch. The government cuts off the cartoons at around 7 at night. After that the kids really do not have anything to do. Here we can just watch cartoons at any time no matter the hour. Every time I would go visit my family in Cuba I would literally be bored every day just because I got tired of watching...
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