Welcome to June! Why don’t we start off with another post for Silver Threading and Ronovan Writes‘s Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge? I’ve been having a lot of fun with these lately, especially since they help keep me creatively inspired through a particularly stressful time. Thanks, Silver and Ronovan!


Appropriately for Memorial Day, the theme for this week was freedom! The quote I chose comes from the collection of Benjamin Franklin’s works:


Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. – Benjamin Franklin

There’s an interesting history behind this quote: originally taken from a letter Franklin wrote regarding a tax dispute and the necessity of military defense, it has since become a popular saying in arguments about the risks of modern technology and surveillance, and has even been paraphrased to defend the fundamental right to privacy. Evidently there are quite a few ways to interpret this quote, which makes it great inspiration for a creative writing exercise!

So in the spirit of Memorial Day, here’s a poem I wrote inspired by Benjamin Franklin’s words on liberty and safety. Enjoy!

Liberty or Safety
If you had to choose,
Would you rather
Have Liberty
Or Safety?

Would you rather
Be free to make choices
Or be safe from their risks?

Would you rather
Be free to make mistakes
Or be safe from their consequences?

Would you rather
Be free to speak your thoughts
Or be safe from their dangers?

Would you rather
Be free to live your life
Or be safe from the fear of death?

Safety always seems appealing
To those who lack courage,
But in the end it comes
At the cost of true Liberty.

For Safety oftentimes
Is merely temporary,
But Liberty is forever
An essential right.

Those who would give up
Essential Liberty
To purchase a little
Temporary Safety
Deserve neither
Liberty nor Safety.

I hope you enjoyed my poem! Be sure to join the Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge and share your quote-inspired works! Thanks for reading!

Writers Quote Wednesday Writing Challenge is a weekly blogging event by Colleen Chesebro of Silver Threading in collaboration with Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes. Be sure to check out both these authors’ blogs for your weekly dose of inspiration! Happy writing!

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