I can still hear my father’s voice saying “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance”. I didn’t know then why he said it so often or its meaning, nor did I know that one day it would become just as important to me.
I grew up in Brazil during a military dictatorship. It wasn’t bad really, but that we will cover another time. Elections were reinstated in 1984 and let me tell you, Brazilians were not ready to make choices! That is when I came to America and watched their choices unfold from a distance or during my brief visits, and started to understand my father’s favorite quote.
If you told me thirty years ago that I would see some of the same catastrophic choices being made right here in the Land of the Free I would have said that you were completely crazy. It can’t be, not here. not ever.
So, for a while, I’ve entertained the idea of ignoring it all and just let it be…but how do you ignore a child that is about to touch fire? If you don’t look or say anything, could you live with the guilt of knowing you could have prevented the pain? The child doesn’t know the fire will hurt, she only knows it’s pretty, she wants to touch it. No, silence is not an option.
My father’s voice seems even louder now…”The price of Freedom is eternal vigilance”
And so…I write.