By Dr. David Anderson, The Meadows Executive Director
Last week, on the Meadows campus, we dedicated a new flagpole and flag. It gave us an opportunity to honor and show appreciation for members of the Armed Services, and to reflect on the freedoms we enjoy as citizens of free nations and also on the freedoms we experience in recovery.
In 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a state of union speech just 11 months prior to the beginning of World War II in which he proposed four fundamental freedoms that people the world over ought to be able to enjoy:
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of worship
- Freedom from want, and
- Freedom from fear.
For those of us in The Program, we celebrate not only these freedoms, but also the fundamental freedoms we enjoy while living in the “Nation of Recovery.” These freedoms might be described as…
- freedom from hopelessness,
- freedom from shame,
- freedom from lies, secrets, and deception;
- and yes, freedom from fear.
Of course, everybody’s journey is unique; thus, many of us may discover other kinds of freedoms as we continue along the path of recovery and transformation.
The dedication of our new flagpole intersected with our celebration of National Recovery Month. In honor of the occasion, a number of our patients created their own personal flags of recovery through their expressive arts therapy sessions.
These personalized flags represented their current freedoms and the freedoms they hope to continue to discover through sobriety. We asked the patients to “plant” these flags around the flagpole as a reminder of the support available in their communities and as a testament of hope and inspiration for themselves and others.
Each flag is a reminder of the courage it takes to choose freedom over bondage, love over hatred, serenity over fear, and recovery over disease. We are honored to have been given the opportunity to display them on our campus.