Freedom and a Little Bit of Elmo Wisdom

Freedom and a Little Bit of Elmo Wisdom

In my March, 1, 2024 monthly update on my continuing antiracism work, I wrote the following:

“With all the seemingly relentless onslaughts regarding our basic freedoms and rights including education, access to medical treatment, how we worship, diversity of family life, availability of books in schools and libraries, and on and on, it’s refreshing to have the famous Sesame Street character, Elmo, recently chime in to ease our stress.

Simply by saying and asking through social media “Elmo is just checking in! How is everybody doing?” brought about thousands of heartfelt responses and overwhelmingly from adults. See

This leads me to a brief statement about the importance of Freedom:  The principle of Freedom within Democracy refers to the fundamental rights and liberties that individuals possess within a democratic society. In a democratic system, citizens can participate in decision-making processes, express their opinions, assemble peacefully, and enjoy certain fundamental rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and the right to due process under the law.


To elaborate further, the concept of freedom within democracy is grounded in the idea that individuals should have the autonomy to live their lives according to their own beliefs and values, without undue interference from the government or other institutions. Freedom emphasizes the importance of individual rights and liberties as essential components of a just and equitable society.

However, there are risks associated with losing our freedoms such as:

  • Authoritarianism: Democracies can become vulnerable to authoritarian tendencies, where leaders or institutions undermine democratic principles and concentrate power in the hands of a select few. This can result in the erosion of civil liberties and the suppression of dissenting voices.
  • Majoritarianism: In some cases, democratic systems may prioritize the will of the majority over the rights of minority groups, leading to the marginalization or oppression of certain segments of society.
  • Political Polarization: Polarization within democratic societies can hinder constructive dialogue and compromise, making it difficult to address pressing issues and protect individual freedoms.
  • Threats to Rule of Law: When democratic institutions are weakened or undermined, the rule of law may be compromised, resulting in arbitrary or unjust actions by those in positions of power.
  • Manipulation and Disinformation: The spread of misinformation and the manipulation of public opinion can undermine democratic processes, leading to the erosion of trust in institutions and the marginalization of certain viewpoints.

Several famous quotes emphasize the importance of protecting freedom within democracy:

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.” (Wendell Phillips). The quote highlights the idea that safeguarding freedom requires ongoing diligence and active engagement from citizens to protect democratic principles.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety” (Benjamin Franklin). This quote underscores the importance of maintaining individual liberties, even in the face of security concerns or societal challenges.

“The only way to deal with the future is to function in the present with the highest morality, integrity, and values. The future is built on the foundation of the present (Mahatma Gandhi).

Gandhi’s words emphasize the importance of upholding moral and ethical principles in the present to ensure a future characterized by freedom and justice.

I believe that we must sustain the hope that our freedoms and rights will prevail and that that they will lead to increased opportunities, personal development, and societal progress.

In summary, freedom within democracy is essential for the protection of individual rights and liberties. However, there are inherent risks associated with the erosion of freedom. Therefore, it is incumbent upon citizens and leaders to remain vigilant in safeguarding democratic principles and upholding the values of freedom and equality.

So, please consider being “Elmo-like” with your own circle of friends… with many of our basic freedoms being assaulted, showing some compassion, kindness, and connection can go a long way in helping people whether their personal storms.

For more on what’s going the assault on our Freedoms see

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