Independence Day, July 4th, 2011. A day characterized in Lodi by family gatherings, barbecued hotdogs, water balloon fights and fireworks; a celebration of freedom and hope.
However, in day-to-day life, “independence” and its associated freedoms come in different forms and mean different things to different people at different times. For example, to a teenage girl it may be getting her driver’s license. 70 years from now, independence may mean keeping her driver’s license.
To an unemployed family man, independence is getting a job and avoiding foreclosure. To the homeless, it may be finding food and a place to sleep. To the infirmed it may be a new wheelchair. To the dead … a resurrection.
To a 19 year old graduate of the foster care system, chronically abused as a child, unmedicated, hungry, swapping empty cans and bottles for cigarettes, tragically self-aware, angry, depressed and afraid, “independence” is neither a freedom nor something that offers hope.