… Freedom! The word rings like a bell, doesn't it? It lifts the heart and stirs the passions. But just what is freedom? How free is free?
… I have a … large, beautiful, extremely active dog. … My dog has free access to the yard at all times … and in house and yard she lives a very free life, for the most part doing only what she wants to do.
… My yard is fenced, but … the fence is more of a mental limit than a physical obstacle. Any time she wishes, she could be over it like the wind. …Not the fence, but only her own acceptance of the fence keeps her in the yard.
My dog and her fence have made me think about freedom in very different terms than I had ever thought about it before. I have come to realize that the fence does not keep her in bondage; it keeps her free!
Suppose she did jump the fence and go wandering off? Would she be free? …How free would she be skittering frightened and bewildered through the unfamiliar maze of the city's streets?
…The fence does not limit her freedom as much as it guarantees it. …Freedom is and always must be a relative matter. …I may be free to step out of a window, but the moment I do, I lose my freedom. …I am made captive and plummeted to earth by forces over which I have no control. I have asserted my freedom beyond my power to maintain it. I have gone beyond my fence.
I built my dog's fence. In the case of human beings, they themselves may have to build their fences. Not all, of course. Many of our fences have been built by wise and loving people who lived before us, examined the world—as I have for my dog—and realized where fences were needed if they were to preserve, and not lose, their liberty. If we are wise, we accept the fences raised for us by laws … tradition … religious belief … the moral code … good manners and consideration.
For if we go too far beyond the fences of reasonable restraint, we may find we have not extended our freedom, we have lost what freedom we had. To go too far is to come up short.
I wonder if we as a nation are still here after  years because the founding fathers were as aware of fences as they were of freedom when they wrote the Declaration of Independence.
…God made us to be free, for He made us in His image. That is why in the heart of every person stirs the desire freely to express his God-potential. That is why we feel a discontent with anything less than freedom. But we misinterpret it when we feel that it tells us to throw off every restraint, every limitation.
There are two kinds of freedom in the world. We have to be free from and free to. …For to be free means to be free from everything that keeps us from achieving our maximum potential, everything that weakens us. … And it means to be free to grow, to achieve dominion over our self and all the forces at work in us, to develop and express our creative powers.
… We are, all of us, freest when we have the maximum control over ourselves and our lives, when we can say to ourselves, “Go!” and we may go, and when we can say, “Stay! and we stay.