“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

                                                                                                  Nelson Mandela

Consider the idea that freedom is one of the universal human needs.  Then ask, just what is freedom?  Each of us probably has our own unique spin on the answer to the question.  Does freedom mean we speak what we want, when we want, regardless of the impact our words have on others?  Does freedom mean we do what we want, when we want, with little thought to the impact on our neighbors?  Does freedom mean we exercise our rights?  And what are these rights?  Do they, too, get molded into a unique definition that best fits us in our own lives?  Do our rights give us freedom and does our freedom give us rights?  And are yours the same as mine?  Who determines our rights?  Who determines our freedom?  Who determines which ones prevail when they seem to be opposing?  Does freedom open up doors to greater understanding of each other?  Do our rights bind us or separate us?  Does freedom carry with it responsibility to extend care to others?  Can each of us embrace our freedom and take up the call of compassion towards others?  K.B.