Break Down Your Bars

Independence Day took away our bars and set us free. It was a day that our founding fathers shrugged off their chains and breathed the sweet air of freedom for the first time.
But does Independence Day give you the same feeling our founding fathers had?  Is July 4th just about hot dogs and fireworks? Two hundred years later, can we – who were born with such freedom – truly know the sweetness of freedom?
One of my favorite movies is The Island. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a short synopsis.
“Lincoln Six-Echo is a resident of a contained facility in the mid-21st century. Like all  inhabitants, Lincoln hopes to be chosen to go to the “The Island“—reportedly the last uncontaminated spot on the planet—until he makes a terrible discovery that everything about his existence is a lie and that he’s more valuable dead. Together with a resident named Jordan, Lincoln makes an escape to the outside world he’s never known. With the forces of the institute hunting them down, Lincoln and Jordan engage in a desperate race for their lives and the lives of their fellow inhabitants.” (Thanks to for the synopsis.)

Although filled with action and comedy, the part that captured my heart is the ending. The ending illustrates an amazing glimpse of the captured set free. If you haven’t seen it yet, there are some mild spoilers.

As I watch it, I am constantly filled with joy watching the captives experience freedom for the very first time. Watch it again and notice how the realization of freedom settles on them
  1. Shock where they cannot comprehend what’s happening,
  2. Panic and chaos take over as they run to escape
  3. Joy fills them as they realize they are free.
  4. The hunter, given the task of killing any who escape, puts away his gun as he observes their elation.
  5. When they see the free world, they are awed as they taste freedom for the first time.
  6. They race into their new life as if they can’t get there fast enough.
  7. Three linger. Two use their freedom to find love. Another finds his own freedom. Not cages by doors and bars, he was caged by his coldness toward life. The joy of the freed has brought liberty to the captor.
The bars – physical and psychological – have been torn down. I experience this as a self-published author. I have freedom to do what I want with my books. I don’t have to worry about deadlines, no one tells me to change the title or names of my characters. I can decide the message of my books. I market when, where and how I want. I can make any changes any time I want.
Where are you? Are you still chained? Are you running panicked for freedom? Or perhaps you may be tasting freedom for the first time.
Wherever you are, you don’t have to be a slave anymore. Break away and run into liberty! Let freedom ring! Today is the day where the weak are strong. Today is the day where we stop being scared and stand up to live our lives the way we want to.  Today we seize our freedom and say “This is mine!” It’s Independence Day!
And on Independence Day, these words hold such more meaning. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” –The Declaration of Independence 4 of July, 1776.                                      
 When did you last feel joy about your freedom?

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