Monday, July 18, 2011

Free No More

So many freedoms most of us take for granted:

The freedom to sleep in
The freedom to take a long bath
The freedom to pick which clothes to wear
The freedom to work and feel useful
The freedom to decide when to eat and what
The freedom to get on the bus
The freedom to pull weeds in the garden
The freedom to go out for a walk, whenever
The freedom to have a glass of wine
The freedom to be alone, or not
The freedom to spend money on small things
The freedom to pick up the phone
The freedom to drive places, any place
The freedom to stay up late
The freedom to choose

So many freedoms millions of people in our country do not have. They are not in prisons, but they might as well be. They are the millions of (mostly) elders living in long-term care institutions.


  1. Each of these is a nuanced and complex issue. I faced them with my mother, and now with my inlaws. Any kind of care that maximizes personal freedom while protecting a less-abled elder - and protecting us from their driving, the vermin in their house, the serious code problems in their back yard - is very expensive - see Kendal, for example, a national system of retirement homes founded with compassion on Quaker principles. Only the fairly wealthy can afford to go there, which strikes me as ironic. They always have their freedoms. I really hope young, bright people like you can design a more economical compassionate system. This is a huge problem in a country where our kids don't expect to take care of us and share their homes with us.

  2. Yes, it comes down to money and creativity.

    It is indeed a huge problem, and one I have become obsessed with. (actually the topic of my next article in the Huffington Post)

    Even homes can become prisons when not adapted and supplemented with enough care and community engagement.

    Creativity and business at the service of compassion . . .