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This week, I heard many people wax poetic about the U.S.’s “freedom.” We take for granted that we are “free” – so much so that we never seem to reflect on what it actually means.

Yes, we are (mostly) free from despots, slavery, and torture. Most of us have “free” speech and can go where we please. These are deeply important. But many countries have these freedoms, some even more than the U.S. They aren’t quite as remarkable as once before. Is this really what defines us, as we seem to think?

It makes me curious: What would it mean for us to become more free? What does it mean to be “free” in the 21st Century? How can we better embody this value?

For me, living these questions is the truest expression of patriotism.

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the Executive Director of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, two sons, and cat. Learn more about Peter's store here.

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