Taking Liberties or Be Careful What You Wish For…

Written by Rose

I drive a lot every day.  A LOT.

Quite often as I drive into and out of Manhattan I wonder where the heck all these people are going?! And why they’re all so angry!!

More often than that, I think of inventions to make the wall-to-wall Manhattan traffic vanish, make the potholes not so cavernous, enable me to go up and over the “high plains cruisers” who can’t pick a lane or around those who “pull-over-but not-quite-far-enough-and-thus-prevent-everyone-behind-them-from-passing”. Frequently, it’s freedom I think about, thoughts of speed (or lack thereof!) that frustrate my drives.

Things have changed, haven’t they?

This year in 6th grade, our 11-year old has learned about the Gold Rush, Suffragettes, The Great Depression, Booker T Washington, The Dust Bowl, Henry Ford and FDR and I’ve enjoyed studying (translation: re-learning!) alongside her. It certainly gets me thinking about our collective yearning for wide open spaces, freedom of speech and action no matter who or where we are, and the desire to move about without restraint.

It also gets me thinking of all the prayers I’ve had answered over the years. There have certainly been a few surprises and ‘wild pitches’ here and there, but I’ve gotten everything I ever wished for. I have noticed, however, that God DOES have a sense of humor and that specificity is apparently VERY important:

“Dear God, please bring us a child…” BAM! Before I could even finish the prayer we were pregnant! (and, at first, the Dr thought we were having twins!)

“Dear God, show me a way out of this horrendous job…” BAM! The company had serious legal & financial issues, and I’m suddenly the recipient of a large severance package and small consolation.

You get my point. Be careful what you wish for.

Perhaps so many granted prayers and wishes for wide open spaces, freedoms and movement are part of the reason I’m frequently sitting in Manhattan traffic jams!

I’m oversimplifying but…

We wished for more space to move: Gold Rush, Dust Bowl, skyscrapers, living in areas Mother Nature feels we shouldn’t.

We wished for freedom to speak, live and move on our own: the Suffragettes are now women like me who sometimes wonder why I work so hard and take the lumps I do at the highest levels of corporate America, which are still largely occupied by men.

We wished for innovation and movement: Henry Ford invented a great machine and a revolutionary manufacturing method that made things more affordable to produce. Ford’s assembly lines have cranked out everything from loaves of bread to Beanie Babies, goods transported faster and faster from coast to coast in tractor trailers, UPS and Fed Ex trucks.

So here I sit.

NY taxis

As the precious minutes are ticking away toward the scheduled start time of my next meeting still several blocks away, I’m thinking, “Yup, I could use a little freedom right now!…”

And, as I inch ahead through the next block what do I see…

hidden liberty

Literally,  “a little freedom”!

At that very moment, the message was loud and clear “Be careful what you wish for!”

Categories: Emily

Tags: , , , , , ,

3 replies

  1. Very insightful. And what I want to know is: How can you think clearly while navigating all that traffic? Amazing that you thought anything besides “I must survive.” Thank you for a timely reminder. Now to negotiate some morning traffic….

  2. I don’t have traffic to contend with, but I sure can appreciate your post for all the connections you make even while navigating through the city! Your education and broad range of experiences come shining through your posts. Are you really that calm?! Amazing!
    A favorite series of ours was called Connections, I think. It was quite a while ago. But the premise was that seemingly unrelated events were connected through history and technological advances.

  3. Thanks for putting a few things into perspective for me – a really insightful post. Enjoyed reading it 🙂

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