a foundation of four freedoms

In his 1941 State of the Union Address, President Franklin Roosevelt talked about a future world where global security would be built on a foundation of four essential human freedoms.

The first was freedom of speech and expression. The second freedom enunciated by Roosevelt was the freedom of every person to worship God in their own way.

The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, mean economic understanding which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants everywhere in the world.

The fourth freedom Roosevelt talked about was the freedom from fear, which he insisted meant a worldwide reduction in armaments, a reduction “to such a point and in such a thorough fashion” that no nation would be in a position to commit physical aggression against any neighbor.

We are certainly a long way from the future envisioned by Roosevelt. Yet his premise of a world founded on four basic freedoms has a power to it that cannot be denied.

Today, when we have enough food to feed all of us on the blessed planet we call home, we need to recognize that freedom from hunger is a basic right of every person in the world. Then we need to join together in a massive global movement to ensure that all of us enjoy that freedom. Working together we can make it happen.