It’s a Free Country

It’s a Free Country

“It’s a free country.” Usually, when someone waves this flag it’s because some infraction has occurred and the flag waver knows it. Loosely translated, it might mean,

“You might not like this- in fact, I know you don’t like this – but it isn’t illegal, and I’m an independent, free-thinking renegade and doing what I want is how I roll. Everyone loves that about me, and if they don’t, they are NOT independent, free-thinking renegades and I don’t care what they think anyway.”

Often the infraction has to do with a communication that the renegade has delivered: a statement to or about someone, or an action that carried a message. Usually it’s a self-serving action or remark. Maybe it’s cutting in line when a cellphone user dawdles; maybe it’s pulling into a parking space for which another car has clearly been waiting; maybe it’s telling the boss that Susie isn’t at her desk instead of leaning into the hall to call her to the phone; maybe it’s taking the last cookie; or asking your niece how long it takes to lose the baby weight.

We recognize these freedom-fighters when we see them, and we may find it a little jarring to hear freedom invoked as a pass for being mean. But we all know a zillion examples of freedom and choice and pursuit of happiness that don’t meet with our approval.

Yes, indeed, it’s a free country- lucky us- and we celebrate that fine truth this week. In all of its voices.

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