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Illustrations: So, I'm having a conversation with my nine year old daughter...
Posted by Meranda_Jade on Monday, May 16, 2005 - 06:15 AM PST

Politics
We were watching one of my favorite movies from my childhood... Cloak And Dagger. I was taking note of the fact that the father went to work and left his 10 or 11 year old son alone. I mentioned to her, "Did you see what just happened?" She said, "He..um.. left him alone?" I said, "Yes. That's generally how thigs were at that time. Parents left their kids alone a lot." This got into a huge discussion about how things were when I was growing up, how parents were too busy to take care of their children, and the children had a lot more freedom than they have these days. These kids in this movie were allowed to run all over, doing whatever they wanted. They had bus passes and went all over the city on their own, without parental supervision. I know it was a movie, but it struck me that things really were like that at the time.

Then, I asked my daughter a question. I asked her, "Which would you rather have... ultimate freedom, with absolute security, or absolute security without any freedom? Think carefully. Answer what you really think, not what you think I want to hear." She thought about it, thought about her capabilities at the age of nine, and at first said that she would like security, but with freedom as well.

I told her that wasn't how it worked. That freedom and security rarely go together hand in hand. It was one or the other. She thought about it for a while, then said she would rather have freedom, even if it meant that she and she alone would be the one to worry about herself. I was very proud of her. This is one of the children who will grow up in this world. One of the children who are forced to wear helmets to ride a bicycle, or else be fined.

It gave me hope, that maybe, when this child grows up and can make her own way in the world... this child might have enough in her to help make changes in the world she lives in. Maybe she isn't the only one, either. Maybe this next generation will be the ones with the courage to stand up and take their freedom... even if it means losing a bit of security.


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So, I'm having a conversation with my nine year old daughter... | Login/Create an account | 11 Comments
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Re: So, I'm having a conversation with my nine year old daughter...
by cofd (-)
on May 16, 2005 - 07:57 AM
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It is rather scary to see the way government is going these days (especially in the US). They are throwing freedom away with both hands in the name of safty or anti-terrorism. It amazes me more that what they do is often in direct conflict with what security experts say (for example see Bruce Schneier's thoughts on the whole "real id" buisness. It is enough to make one really sick. Sadly, life goes on. Hopefully things will change. There is no such thing as total security, or even real security. The old vet joke about horses that you can put one in a padded stall and it will still get itself hurt applies to people as well.

The only true security would come from reliance on a higher power. As much as we individually try to control what goes on around us, we are unable to prepare for every uncertainty. Walking today I could still get hit by a car, have a tree fall on me or get shot. There is always something that can happen that I cannot forsee or protect myself from.

Not that I am against doing the small things to keep my family and myself safer. I am just against going so far as it makes us less free.


Re: So, I'm having a conversation with my nine year old daughter...
by Schizo (Aranea@Spidersdance.com)
on May 16, 2005 - 02:01 PM
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You should be proud of your daughter. It takes courage to choose the road of freedom rather than security. Especially in today's post-9/11 climate, where people "suspected of connections with terrorist groups" are banned from flying, and the government can snoop into anyone's private business in the name of national security. No one seems to want to take the trouble to take care of themselves anymore - and the few who would rather die at the hands of the most brutal of terrorists than give up one inch more of their freedom are forced to give up their rights at the command of the panicked majority.

I am hoping the same as you - that the new generation will rebel against the scared-rabbit policies of their parents, and have the courage to live boldly and with self-reliance. After all, the most paranoid of precautionary tactics can never guarantee safety, but only restrict the ability to enjoy the life they yell so loudly to have protected. The wise and intelligent will always be able to strike a balance between self-preservation and full and free enjoyment of life. And as for the fools - well, they are constantly finding new ways to destroy themselves, despite all the government's babysitting.


Re: So, I'm having a conversation with my nine year old daughter...
by Meranda_Jade (Meranda@mymind.com)
on May 18, 2005 - 04:14 AM
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A correction... the question was, "Ultimate freedom with absolutely no security." It changes the article a bit. I think you guys got the idea, though. What gets me is that there are all of these masures to keep people "safe" these days... and it's all bullshit. Kids are so protected these days that they're nowhere near as self-reliant as they should be. I'm not saying that kids should be neglected, but they ought to be able to do more than they do these days. I just read an article yesterday about how "they" are now saying that trampolines are dangerous and that nobody should have them. Of course trampolines are dangerous! So is crossing the street! But take away the trampolines and you take away yet another childhood thrill. I guess "they" would rather children stay in their nice, safe, little houses and play their nice, safe little video games and watch their nice, safe little television programs thatn go outside and possibly do something "dangerous". Pfeh. Life is meant to be lived. If you take ALL of the danger out of it, it becomes boring and listless.



Re: So, I'm having a conversation with my nine year old daughter...
by Schizo (Aranea@Spidersdance.com)
on May 19, 2005 - 02:44 AM
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I read on AOL this morning how the judge whose mother and husband were killed by a guy with a grudge against her is saying that there should be a law passed against speaking against members of the judicial system. Her point was that hearing critical words of a judge may push an angry person over the edge and incite him to kill.

I am appalled. I hate this - this horrific trend that makes anything that could possibly by any stretch of the imagination encourage someone to commit a crime, as much of a crime as the killing/beating/whatever. It's the same thing as the anti-goth movement that always rears its head whenever a troubled teenager opens fire on his classmates.

I thought freedom of speech was one of the basic rights of an American citizen - one that the judicial system is supposed to protect. But like all freedoms, it seems that there are far to many people eager to trash it in favor of some false sense of security.

I am nauseated.


Re: So, I'm having a conversation with my nine year old daughter...
by bettie_x (strangersangel@hotmail.com)
on May 21, 2005 - 12:16 AM
(User info | Send a Message) http://bettie_x.tripod.com/
Mad props to you for posing such a question to your daughter, and props for her for deciding which option would be better for her. She chose a hard and brave route, no doubt the result of her upbringing. With so many kids today unable (or assumed unable) to make adult decisions about their lives, their bodies, their minds, she's risen above the mass. Nurture this, as I'm sure you do, please.

I'll choose freedom over anything. I risk death and dismemberment by stepping out my door each day (and if you know the horrid highway I live on, you'd know I'm being literal) but my saftey is my responsibility, and I'm free to leave the house or stay within. I hate to think that someday someone will make that decision for me, or think me unfit to make that decision for myself. Death before dishonor, freedom before security, fight or flight. You've got a smart girl on your hands....she's going to be a handful :)


Re: So, I'm having a conversation with my nine year old daughter...
by v3rsus (hatemail@v3rsus.org)
on Jun 04, 2008 - 11:33 PM
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we don't know what world you are living in but these days two working parents is the norm and we don't see how kids are more supervised and less left alone. as far as security and freedom goes, most people got neither these days. and to get to the point, if you're shit rich you got freedom and security. so how again is your child going to change the world cause she choses freedom over security? you are mixing up personal security and the security of a nation. it's all twisted. basically your child is going to be okay with having no security cause there is an illusion of freedom.
v3rsus


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