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Samantha Larson
Professor Debbie Francis
Humanities 1100
13 October 2014

Freedom, Responsibility and Justice

Part I: Individual Responsibility
In my 32 years here on this earth I do not recall a time when I ever really opened my
mind up to thinking deeply about what my personal responsibilities are as a U.S Citizen and
about my rights and freedoms. It wasnt until this Humanities class that I felt my mind really
expand and I was asked to think long and hard about my own personal freedoms.
The first thing I realized is that we, American citizens, and possibly human kind in
general, are very selfish, under appreciative beings. I believe that because I live in American and
I am a U.S. citizen that I have certain rights and freedoms that I might not have if I lived in
another country. The Four Freedoms are freedoms of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from
want and freedom from fear. I believe that I am free to work where I want to work, live where
and how I want to live, go back to college at 32 years old, eat what I want and when I want, go to
the movies or out to dinner, I believe I can do all these things and so much more because of the
freedom and rights that I have as an American.
I also believe that these freedoms come at a cost. The cost of freedom is war, sacrifice by
many soldiers and their families. I believe it is my responsibility as a free citizen of the United
States of America to give back by doing things like voting, offering support to our troops

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whenever possible, by contributing to the community and by paying taxes. I believe I am also
putting back into the community and into the country by becoming college educated.
It was very well put in A Chinamans Chance: Reflections on the American Dream when
said To me, the dream is not just about buying a bigger house than the one I grew up in, or
having shinier stuff now than I had as a kid. It also represents a sense of opportunity that binds
generations together in commitment, so that the younger inherit not only property but also
perseverance, not only money but also a mission to make good on the strivings of their parents
and grandparents (Lie).

Part II: U.S. Role and Collective Responsibility

I believe the United States of America is a great place to live. In my opinion it is the
greatest country. I am proud to be an American and I do consider myself to be patriotic. With
that being said, being an American comes with certain basic freedoms. One of those freedoms is
freedom from fear. I believe that the U.S. government should protect America, its citizens and its
land. I believe they should do this before helping other countries.
If we are not going to compromise the freedom and safety of America then I believe it is
our duty to offer assistance to other nations when we can. In the Preamble of The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights written in 1948 it states that it is essential to promote the
development of friendly relations between nations (Resolution). If we are able, as a country, to
develop and keep and encourage and promote friendly, peaceful and somehow gainful
relationships with other nations then I believe that we should. In helping other countries where
we can we are able to continue trade, boost our own economy, and also have friends that will
hopefully also step in and offer assistance to America when needed.

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President Bush said it best on January 29th, 2002 Our cause is just (Bush). I believe at
the moment he was referring to the War on Terror. I think this quote applies in general across the
board. If it helps Americas bottom line, in any way, to reach out and offer our aide to other
nations then our cause is just. At the end of the day, as in life, we have to watch out and take care
of our own. No one else is going to watch out for the best interest of our country. It is our job, as
Americans, as the U.S. Government, to protect this land.

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Bush, President. Interview. 29 January 2002.
Lie, Eric. "A Chinamans Chance: Reflections on the American Dream." Paul Allen PhD, Jennifer Bauman
PhD. It Begins With Our Questions. Plymoth Michigan : Hayden-McNeil Publishing , 2012. 486491.
Resolution, United Nations General Assembly. "The Universal Declaration of Human Rights." Paul Allen,
PhD, Jennifer Bauman, PhD. It Begins With Our Questions. Plymouth: Hayden-McNeil Publishing,
2012. 225 - 228.