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I was recently in a coastal town that has a Freedom Festival on July 4th. The festivities included music, an airshow, a hot dog eating contest, and of course a fireworks display of made-in-China fireworks. It’s all good fun and tirelessly American. 

In that same town, I stopped at a local seafood restaurant. There was an aquarium full of live crabs donning Uncle Sam hats. They jauntily scuttled around their cell unaware of their fate and their surroundings.

As I drove home, I pondered how the people at the festival might be different than the crabs. Is eating and watching things explode freedom? If the signers of the Declaration of Independence found some time portal and stepped into the year 2018, would they join in the revelry or wonder what became of their big ideas?

What is freedom, if we’re trapped between the four walls of glass or the boundaries we set on our own lives? For me, freedom comes with the responsibility to examine, question, and act, so that others can be free too.

If I didn’t do that, I’d just be a crab in a silly hat, no?