July 6

Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM

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“What light is to the eyes – what air is to the lungs – what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man.” Robert Green Ingersoll

Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM
Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM – The Four Freedoms and More

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. Jim Morrison

Freedom Is Priceless: What does Freedom mean to you? When we think about what motivates us to get up on Monday and start our week, it is important to also consider the opportunities that spur us on. When you know that your efforts will be rewarded, the motivation to perform is greater. Imagine life in a place where freedom is restricted, and imagine a place where survival is a daily battle. Would you rather live there? Until we experience life in a war zone, some of will never grasp how precious our freedom truly is. This July 4th, Independence Day was celebrated around the USA and, while some might choose to not remember this bit of invaluable information, the simple fact is that we are a nation of immigrants. Many families left their countries of origin to escape oppression, poverty, and religious persecution and start a new life here. It is this very opportunity to choose how we wish to live/who we want to be, and when we wish to use other liberties we value that adds gravitas to the immeasurable value of FREEDOM.

What impact does FREEDOM have on your daily life? Think about it. If we lived in certain parts of the world, the mere mention of the word – FREEDOM – could get one thrown in jail or even executed. So when we wake up in the morning, our songs of gratitude should include our gratitude for the Four Freedoms depicted in the paintings above/below by Norman Rockwell. In case you didn’t know, the Four Freedoms are: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear. The dead cat story below is really about how we can’t put a price on something that holds tremendous meaning for each of us. Our Freedom is the essence of who we are and being able to express that is PRICELESS.

A Story: The Priceless Cat
Sozan, a Chinese Zen master, was asked by a student: “What is the most valuable thing in the world?” The master replied: “The head of a dead cat.” “Why is the head of a dead cat the most valuable thing in the world?” inquired the student. Sozan replied: “Because no one can name its price. All from 101 Zen Stories

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” Albert Camus

Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM - The Four Freedoms
Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM – The Four Freedoms

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. Viktor E. Frankl

Freedom Is Choice: One of the gifts of freedom is our ability to choose how we respond to situations and what we want to leave alone. Choice is power. In some nations in the world, people cannot make simple daily choices about their livelihood because they depend on the State for everything. They cannot feel free to let things go because they need every bit they own and have for survival. When we are free, we can make choices that impact us and others in positive and negative ways, so, our ability to choose is also a responsibility.

Our Freedom of Choice is a Responsibility. Freedom of choice also means freedom of thought and action; therefore, we have the ability/capacity to use our minds in ways that can contribute to society and to the world.  We must use our freedom wisely, and for the upliftment of others not just ourselves. When we know that we can choose or leave things that are presented to us, we are able to enjoy the life we have and develop some level of detachment about “stuff.” Of course, the detachment of the Saint below is on a deeper level but the basic premise is the same… Freedom is a precious choice.

A Story: The Golden Bowl
The great Buddhist saint Nagarjuna moved around naked except for a loincloth and, incongruously, a golden begging bowl gifted to him by the King, who was his disciple. One night he was about to lie down to sleep among the ruins of an ancient monastery when he noticed a thief lurking behind one of the columns. “Here, take this,” said Nagarjuna, holding out the begging bowl. “That way you won’t disturb me once I have fallen asleep.” The thief eagerly grabbed the bowl and made off — only to return next morning with the bowl and a request. He said, “When you gave away this bowl so freely last night, you made me feel very poor. Teach me how to acquire the riches that make this kind of light-hearted detachment possible.”

The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for June and July are:
06/29 – TRUST

07/06 – FREEDOM
07/13 – WORRY
07/20 – WEALTH
07/27 – GRACE


More Below!

“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

Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM - The Four Freedoms and more
Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM – The Four Freedoms and more

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. Thomas Jefferson

Freedom Is Happiness:  One of Nelson Mandela’s special qualities was his ability to look for a way to be inclusive, even in the most oppressive environment. He never forgot his experience in the apartheid regime and saw freedom as everyone’s right on the road to happiness. When we talk about happiness, we tend to look at it as an abstract emotion devoid of concrete influences. Sure, we can be happy for the things that matter in life – air, water, love, and family – but happiness also comes from knowing that our movement and are choices are not controlled by others. When we are free to practice our beliefs, move wherever we wish, and live in safety and comfort, our happiness quotient increases.

Why Freedom as a motivator? When we live in a society that values its freedoms, we can trust that most of our choices won’t be challenged and our family won’t come to harm because of our ideas and decisions.  We can express our opinions on a wide range of topics, speak out against any sort of civil rights infringements, fight against bigotry, choose the type of jobs we want, and move around freely.  Just like Socrates could find happiness in knowing that there were things in the market he could choose not to buy, we also derive some of our happiness from knowing that our four freedoms allow us to live in peace with others… Cherish your freedoms and stay motivated to ensure that others can have access to the same rights we wish and cherish for our loved ones and ourselves.

A Story: Socrates & Happiness
Socrates believed that the wise person would instinctively lead a frugal life. He himself would not even wear shoes; yet he constantly fell under the spell of the marketplace and would go there often to look at all the wares on display. When one of his friends asked why, Socrates said, “I love to go there and discover how many things I am perfectly happy without.”

Positive Motivation Tip: Freedom opens us to choice, opportunity and happiness. Value yours.

Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for end of November and all of December below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
Facebook Page: MotivationOnMondays Join our page and add your post and/or any motivational piece you think will be helpful to others.
Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.

Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM

Related Posts

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: Zen Stories via Read.Goodweb, All Photos: Four Freedoms, Freedom Monument, Statue of Liberty,  via Wikipedia  and/or my Personal Collection

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


#MotvnM, four freedoms, freedom, Happiness, inspiration, Liberty, life, Motivation, Motivation Mondays, motivational stories, positive attitude, postaday

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  • What a great post. Freedom. I’m so thankful for the freedom we have. I’m in Canada and it’s a lot different here, but I’m so glad for it!

  • We do need to choose to use our freedom responsibly and wisely. Just because we have certain freedoms doesn’t mean we need to do all it allows us.

  • I love the theme you chose this time for this motivation Monday. The pictures are very powerful.

  • Very nice sentiments to express at this time of the year. I am very thankful for the freedoms that we have to enjoy.

  • Freedom is really something that I don’t think I acknowledge enough. In my life there are so many freedoms I have and I really hope I don’t take them for granted. I know in pre baby life I didn’t celebrate my freedom of sleeping in!

      • Right? I guess I will be sad once my boys flee the nest and I have my freedom to lay in bed all morning and watch bad reality TV. Or maybe not…

      • LOL! What a riot!!!! You mean you are not watching it yet? Don’t wait for the boys to fly the coop. Having your freedom means watching that crap any time of the day… You are free to do so. ROTFLOL! 😆

  • What a great post!! I give thanks to all who have served to help us keep that freedom…and mostly to God to know that we are free indeed! 🙂

  • Freedom is a part of our daily lives. I think some people take the freedom we have for granted but we could be in a really bad situation without it. Without our troops who are brave enough to make sure we have it!

  • I absolutely love this country but sometimes feel like so many of us take so much for granted. Freedom has been used in so many negative ways that it makes it almost all sad. So many people fight and risk their lives for all of us, yet so many are ignorant and ungrateful by creating problems in the country that others die for.

    • I’m with you on this Lexie. I find it fascinating how recent immigrants tend to be so much more appreciative of the Freedom this country offers… I guess as the saying goes, “familiarity breeds contempt.” People take for granted what comes so easily to them… that is until it is challenged or lost. Sad indeed.

  • I am so thankful for all the freedom that I have. I know that it took a ton of men and women before us to pave the way the freedoms that we have today.

  • Its so easy to take for granted and I think in America we don’t see how blessed we really are until we are shocked with the way other people live on a daily basis in other countries. Its why ISIS is so scary. We can’t take what we have for granted and we must fight for it!

  • Such powerful pictures as we celebrate our freedom in many weeks. Great pictures and so timely!

  • Yup, freedom is priceless. That doesn’t mean, though that because we have the freedom, we can do just whatever we want. Along with freedom comes responsibility. We should also consider others when doing what we like to do.

  • Everything you say and quote here makes sense. But I am struggling with how to forgive a person/people who aren’t sorry for the hurt they’ve inflicted. Do you have advice?

    • It takes time Julie. Until you are ready to do so, nothing anyone else says would matter. Take the the time you need to reflect on it all. You might try broaching the subject with them… but time will give you the distance and resolve you need. {{{hugs}}

  • Brilliant post. I think we forget to appreciate and be grateful for the freedom we have. Fantastic idea for a post I am off to read some more in this series as it has really motivated me for the day.
    Jen x

  • Your Zen story about the cat was notable. So was Mandela’s quote, right on the money. So true. Good post this week!

  • Are those 4 photos in the second set above Norman Rockwell paintings? His paintings really capture the essence of American life. Very talented painter.

  • The mere mention of freedom is probably music to anyone’s ears. While freedom is a beautiful thing, people should not abuse it and take it in the wrong context because when taken in a different context, it becomes something dangerous. There’s a ton of responsibility in it.

  • Freedom is such a small word for such a huge concept. Thank you so much for sharing this post with so much to think about and so many reminders for just how much we have to be grateful for! – Jerusha

  • Your theme this week is definitely motivating with this past weekend being the 4th of July and all. Thanks for sharing such great inspiration.

  • Living in Canada we perhaps take our Freedom for granted. But we are definitely fortunate to have what we have, and live the way we do. Great post Eliz!

  • Freedom is something that we all take for granted. Thank you for this reminder to be thankful for the freedom that we enjoy!!

  • Thank you for sharing this great post. We are very lucky to have our freedom and sometimes people don’t know how lucky we are.

  • Great post about Freedom! This is a perfect post for this week when freedom and independence is on all of our minds.

  • I think a lot of times we take our freedom for granted. This is a great reminder.

  • Freedom is something we should hold dearest to us. It’s unfortunate that so many take it for granted. I am glad we live in a nation that allows us even that though… if that makes any sense at all.

  • This is a great post indeed about freedom. We are so lucky we have as much freedom as we do here in the United States. Freedom to me means sacrifice and responsibility. Thanks for sharing.

  • Freedom is such a gift, and I feel lucky to have it. I was just hearing about the muslims in Somalia, and it made me feel very thankful for our freedoms in America.

  • Yes, freedom is priceless! Everybody wants to be free. Free to express their words, feelings and ideas. Just like here in the Philippines, we really fought for centuries in order to get our freedom. Now that we have it, we will take care of it that no one can ever get it from us again.

  • I love the freedoms that we have in the USA. I also realize that freedom comes with responsibility that people take for granted.

  • Freedom comes with great respomnsibility. My country Philippines has been colonized by many other countries for more than 300years. Adapt some cultures from them and still treasure and presserved a few from our history and culture

  • I very much agree! People tend to take freedom for granted and abuse it, when there are other people who need to hide their faith and their beliefs, their very things that define their freedom, because they’re not free.

  • I’m beginning to worry about our freedoms in America. So many alarming events happening recently…

  • We are very lucky to live in a country where we are somewhat free! Compared to other countries we are as lucky as you can get

  • Freedom is indeed great. However, people need to know that it is not equivalent to irresponsibility.

  • I love this post, freedom is indeed priceless, it is very important too. Sometimes it can do harm because we can no longer protect those people we want to be protected because of freedom.

  • I always link freedom to speak together with democracy for a bigger picture. The more democratic the country, the more freedom to speak for a person.

  • Great choice for this week! Freedom is certainly something we can easily take for granted.

  • What a lovely post. Freedom is taken for granted but to some it is worth millions! We should appreciate it.

  • I think probably we don’t realise the importance of freedom of everything as compared to our older generation. They have seen many more difficult phases and we are thankful for giving us this wonderful place where we have freedom of everything.

  • People don’t understand how important freedom is until it is lost or until they see someone who has even less of it. We have to remember just how lucky we are and we have to make the most out of life!

  • It feels good to have freedom, but we should remember that being free has great responsibilities too.

  • Freedom is priceless but there are some individuals who defines freedom as something even the law can’t curtail.

  • Freedom comes with great responsibility which many fail to remember. Especially now that we live in an advanced world. You can see a lot of irresponsible people through the internet – videos being posted, statuses being updated or even just through comments and those who cyber-bully other people.

  • Freedom is priceless. We can’t quantify it but it makes a whole world of difference to be free and able to do your stuff.

  • While I don’t really get the meaning of the priceless cat head story, I like the story of Socrates and the marketplace. We are pursuing material enjoyment nowadays that we forgot to be contented

  • What a perfect post following Independence day. I’m happy that we live in a country where we do have freedom although I think that is changing rapidly and will continue to do so as the bible predicts.

  • Freedom and responsibilities go hand in hand in order for peace to prosper.

  • I absolutely love that you opened up with a quote from Jim Morrison – I’m obsessed with The Doors! Freedom is something a lot of us take for granted, sadly. We need to appreciate it because so many people don’t have any kind of freedoms.

  • We totally take advantage of all the freedom that we have, which is so sad considering what people had to go through to get us to this point!

  • Beautiful post, most of us can not even comprehend how good we have it until we experience freedom being taken away.

  • Great post. I think most of us don’t realize that we’re slowly forgetting what true freedom is.

  • Some people forget that freedom is not the right to do anything we want especially if we are affecting the freedom of others.

  • Freedom is a way or a sign that we have equality and peace within ourselves, our community, and our family. When we have inner peace, we can be at peace with those around us.

  • Freedom to me is to be able to live a life that you want as long as you don’t harm amother person doing so.

  • Wow, that’s a lot of work you put in there, i admire you! My favorite quote about freedom is “Give me liberty or give me death.” by Patrick Henry.

  • Freedom. It comes with a price. Some people think it’s totally free but we had to work for it. Our ancestors worked hard for our freedom. ^_^

  • This post is awesome. Freedom is a very valuable thing. Freedom to me is being able to make decisions based on my own personal convictions as long as the actions resulting from said decisions in no way harms another

  • Love the idea of motivation Mondays. I will have to keep checking back with you. Loved this one on freedom.

  • I think it’s interesting how the concept of freedom means different things to different people. I truly enjoy reading about people’s triumphant journeys and experiences.

  • We’re so lucky to live in a democratic country where we are free to choose our own religion, voice our opinion and do the things we want without restrictions. That in itself is happiness.

  • We should be very happy if we have acquire the Freedom for we can do anything we want. However sometimes it also ruins us because we thought we are doing right because of the freedom we have yet, we never thought that we already hurt others.

  • We are living in a democratic country. In 1898 our country declares freedom from colonizing country. However, for now, I think we are not yet free. Most citizen, including me, are still have the so-called colonial mentality.

  • This is very timely as I plan to move out the house after graduating. Huhu hopefully I find happiness too. Thank you! 🙂 Hope you don’t mind that I share this too. 🙂

  • Freedom is God’s gift and if utilized wisely, we could achieve total happiness and satisfaction. However, we have to be careful though as this may also lead to failures if abused and use in a wrong way. Love all the photos here! 🙂

  • Such great insights. Freedom gives people security but some people tend to abuse the freedom we have. ;(

  • I think I already commented on this but it is a beautiful post. I think so many people forget the true meaning of Independence day, its not just about fireworks and BBQs.

  • unfortunately, in this country despite the advantages of having a democratic nation, many are abusing the power of freedom. sad. 🙁

  • “Positive Motivation Tip: Freedom opens us to choice, opportunity and happiness. Value yours.”

    I still think that not many people know the real value of freedom. We take it for granted. Only when it is taken away from us do we realize what we’ve lost.
    Like how a regular income from employment gives one the freedom to see movies or hangout with friends without asking for money from parents or spouses. So they go on AWOL or don’t perform their jobs well. Only when they are under threat of losing their job, or already losing it, do they realize that they should have treasured their work more.

  • Sometimes freedom makes a country corrupt and poor. Officials are free to steal the government funds. sometimes it makes me wish me for revolutionary government to take these corrupt officials out of the picture.

  • I live in the state of NY but never been in NYC. I hope someday I could visit the Statue Of Liberty.

  • Freedom has a lot of meaning. But for me, true FREEDOM simply means showing the real you and being able to do whatever you wanted in your life.

  • Freedom most of the time is being abused by people. I think we should know how to exercise this right properly.

  • I read what generations before me had to go through in order that generations today enjoy the freedom we have. I hope many realize what it took to enjoy the liberties we have now.

  • I couldn’t imagine our world without freedom! It’s one of the best things we are experiencing today.

  • Lucky us that we didn’t need to go through wars again. And I hope this freedom we have will prevail. Thank you for another great post.

  • We were on the topic regarding Literature during Spanish era and I am trying to teach my students regarding freedom. We really should be thankful with our heroes.

  • Great post. We tend to take freedom for granted, but when I see news feeds about people especially Christians fleeing their land of birth, people firing at innocent people in the name of God, it scares me…

  • This is very inspiring post! Freedom is something that I’m so thankful for to those heroes who fought and to those people who keeps our country safe. Great post!

  • […] What are your plans for this special day? As we join our loved ones to celebrate July 4th, take a moment to educate those around you on the history of Independence Day, read the Declaration of Independence and teach your loved ones about the long journey that got YOU here. After all, this is a nation of immigrants. It is not enough to eat, drink and be merry… take time to teach yourself and others about how this impacts your own dreams, celebrate your independence, cherish the liberties you enjoy, and stay motivated to ensure that others can have access to the same rights we wish for our loved ones and ourselves. READ: Motivation Mondays: Happy 4th Of July – Independence Day Haiku: Happy Independence Day! Motivation Mondays: FREEDOM […]

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