Freedom – What do We Take for Granted?

On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered his now famous “I Have a Dream” speech.  This speech was not just intended as a message of hope and a call to action for African-Americans, but also as a wake-up call to those of us who may have taken our constitutional rights for granted.

Smiling boy in Uncle Sam hat, wearing a USA t-shirt
Photo courtesy of United Pentecostal Church on Flickr Creative Commons

I’m not here to discuss politics with you.  But in celebration of what would have been Dr. King’s 83rd birthday, I would like to discuss some of the things many of us take for granted on a daily basis:

  • Hot water.  Seriously.  Do we even understand what a miracle it is to have indoor plumbing?  My father-in-law didn’t have it as a child growing up in rural Tennessee.

I must say that except for the occasional camp shower I have always had a hot shower.  But then, at the end of last year our water heater sprung a leak.  We couldn’t afford to replace it, so went for about six weeks without hot water until we had the money to buy a used replacement from Craigslist. Bud got resourceful and showered at a friend’s house every day.  The rest of us took what Art likes to call “penguins”.  I would boil a teapot of hot water for my hair, but everything else was ice, ice baby!!

For one week of that time we were also without an automatic dishwasher, so we not only had to hand wash the dishes (not that big a deal) but also had to boil water on the stove just to wash them.

  • Food.  On those days when we’re trying to decide what restaurant to go to and lamenting the lack of anything “new” to try, we might just be taking for granted the fact that we have so much food and so many choices.  A few months ago our family had to start going to the Food Bank once a month and I can tell you that after trying to figure out what to make with canned pork because that’s the only meat in the cupboard, you will never take food for granted again.
  • Friends and Family.  What would we do without you?  You have supported us in so many ways both financial and spiritual.   Every time we felt alone in this mess someone reached out a hand to us. I don’t know if we can ever express the depth of our gratitude and love for you guys.

So I’ve had the wake-up call and here’s what I intend to do about it:

  1. I will bookmark the Pur Daily drop site on Facebook and click daily to donate 10 gallons of clean water per day to the Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program.
  2. I will donate any extra nonperishable food once a month to the food bank.
  3. I will never stop telling you guys how much you mean to me.

Have you heard the call to action? What are you going to do about it?

This is not a sponsored post.  I just saw a charitable organization that I appreciate and wanted to give them some attention.



2 thoughts on “Freedom – What do We Take for Granted?

  1. Or washing machines! My grandma used to tell me what a PAIN it was to wash clothes in the old machines where you had to squeeze the water out by running the clothes between rollers and then moving them into the rinse bin. Whenever I feel like complaining about laundry, I think “What do I have to whine about? The machine does all the hard work!”

    As a former single mom of four who used to be on the receiving end all the time, I look for opportunities to help others. I know how much people giving means to those who receive- At least, those with any degree of dignity or pride at all.

    1. Nancy – you’re right – washing machines definitely!! I’ve had to wash clothes in the bathtub a few times and it certainly makes you appreciate the washing machine so much!!

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