We, the Four Freedoms Interns, reflect on what FDR's freedoms mean to us and their connections to the world of the 21st century.
Freedom of Expression: by Sarveshwar
I feel that Freedom of Expression means to be able to share your beliefs and feelings without anything or anyone holding you back. It is very important to be able to express yourself because without it, we won’t be exposed to new ideas or ways of thinking. It also enables us to speak out on things we believe are wrong or could be improved in society and the places we live in.
In my opinion, I do believe we have this freedom in America and especially now in the 21st century, we have social media which shares our opinions with a global audience. This very post is proof of that freedom.
However in places where social media is banned like North Korea, the people who live there aren’t able to express themselves to the public. Their impressions of the world around them are formed by only what they’re told and not what they can experience. This becomes a problem when they’re blinded from reality. Hopefully in the coming years and decades, this will change around the world.
All in all, as each day goes by and technology gets better and better, our Freedom of Expression can only be enhanced. The ability and climate to express ourselves has never been better.
Freedom of Worship: by Anthony
One of Franklin Roosevelt’s spoken freedoms during his State of the Union Speech in 1941 indicated, “every person to worship God in his own way--everywhere in the world”. This statement was particularly powerful at the time it was addressed as this freedom was seemingly impossible to reach. The circumstances during this time period saw Jews interned in concentration camps due to their beliefs and two decades earlier, the difference of religion within the Turkish region sparked the Armenian genocide. Accomplishing this freedom has become a very difficult task to complete as it continues to remain a problem in today’s society, from social prejudice to facing death. Although, some countries are less radical on this freedom than others and it’s rarely an issue within their borders, the contrast of religion has yet to see a worldwide solution. North Korea along with its socialist principles, makes the practice of religion invisible to their citizens. Myanmar’s government has, for the past three decades, opposed citizenship to Rohingya Muslims which has led to recent bloody uprisings and misplacement of hundreds of thousands of people. To obtain the freedom to worship God in anyway is very important, as it’s a fundamental aspect of life to many, making this one of the most important and crucial liberties that is needed in order to reach human coexistence.
Living in America has allowed me to witness multitudes of people that worship religion as they desire. It’s quite spectacular to see this diversity of religions living together in the same street; it creates a sense of security knowing that all are accepted. However, not all countries and its inhabitants have this privilege, to believe as they wish. It is for this reason that I believe we have not polished this freedom, as many remain discriminated for their decision of worship. For instance, it's one of the world’s tragedies, to have many innocent people killed and scarred for something that was to be solved more than half a century ago. I hope that this freedom endures the times that are yet to come, that it persists despite what is going on in today’s media and that one day, all have the freedom to worship in our own way--everywhere in the world.
Freedom From Fear: by Kenna
Freedom from Fear means to me to live a life without compromising. Being able to express yourself without a care in the world, without being affected by the world's opinion. I think we tend to care too much about what others have to say, what they may think, and we fear to be judged if we don't look or act a certain way. Believe it or not, people fear to be different not because they don't have that capability but because being different would mean that you stand out and sometimes people might view that as standing alone. Being able to live a life without being condemned for the color of your skin or bashed because of your sexuality, and or religion, is a life without fear. A life that unfortunately does not exist for some. Discrimination and oppression are at our door steps. We've accepted so much bullying and harassment into our homes, I don't think people are in maximum tune with themselves because of how society has treated them and they've felt no warmth of acceptance. I live for those who dare to be different, for the people who claim a life worth living. My hope is that people no longer wait for approval from the world, they find it within themselves then they share their stories. With movements such as Black Lives Matter, people are working for a world where lives are no longer systematically oppressed by the state or government officials. People are paving a way for change and through reforms they are telling their tales. It's in the sharing of their stories that they realize they never really stood alone but they stood silenced. Now that they've finally spoken up, you're going to hear them roar.
As young people we are learning to appreciate these self-evident freedoms. The progress already made would have been impossible if it weren't for the cornerstone set by previous generations, however more work is to be done by the generations to come. The youth needs the company of the aged as does "Age needs the company of youth", as Eleanor Roosevelt once said.