Freedom is the reason I came to the United States with my family. In the Czech Republic, where I was born, communism and oversight by the pro-Soviet regime meant that freedoms were limited. My parents decided to escape, leaving behind their family, friends, savings, and comfortable lifestyles for the sake of hope and the freedom to work and speak and think as they liked. I was along for the ride, but I grew up with the knowledge of their sacrifice, and it shaped who I am.
Freedom is a powerful motivator.
In Czechoslovakia, there had always been a deep love of literature. But under the thumb of the Soviet union, books were banned and heavily censored. You read what you were allowed to read, watched only select television programs, heard only selected radio stations, and got only the news that the government wanted you to know. It is no coincidence that the first president of a free Czech Republic was a poet and playwright who had spent years in prison for his dissident views and writings against the communist regime.
In the United States, I get to read any book I want. Any. Book. I am free to read what is important to me. I am free to choose.
The sum total of my thoughts and choices become who I am. I think as I read. I think because I read.~ read more ~