In New Hampshire we live in the “Live Free or Die” state, and that means different things to different people.  I love my state. The people here are strong willed, independent in spirit and mind and not willing to take “guff” from anyone.

Do we have our problems? Yes, everyone does. But we are willing to roll up our sleeves and deal with those problems. From writing letters to our representatives, to standing in the pouring rain to protest an injustice, to getting on a plane to help those in need, you will find New Hampshire there.

We are competitive and hard working. We don’t expect something for nothing. We are proud of our accomplishments. We are New Hampshire.

So, what does it mean to “Live Free or Die” to me specifically? It means that the people in my state should be allowed to make choices for themselves and their families. To have that freedom to decide where my money goes and who I support (businesses, charities, political figures, sports teams, celebrities, etc.).

It means making the choices that affect my family without the government telling me what those choices must be. It means being able to walk down the street and say hello to random people I’ve never met before and having them say hello back to me because neither of us fear each other.

It means driving down the highway with my seatbelt on because I made the personal choice to do so, not because a government told me I had to. It means having a government that is run by the people, not by the upper 1 percent who don’t care what the average person wants. It means doing whatever I can to make sure that others have these same freedoms. It’s supporting my neighbors’ right to disagree with me, their right to shoot off fireworks on a Friday night.

With freedom comes responsibility. We have lost many of our freedoms over time and more are being restricted. It is important for us all to respect one another’s rights instead of just wanting what benefits us individually. We must remember that every right we restrict is one step further away from our state and federal Constitution.

We must also remember that our elected officials change each time we vote. You may trust the current administration to protect a right when they pass a law, but will you trust the next administration to uphold the same way? Each time a right is restricted in some manner with a law this is something you should think about before agreeing or disagreeing with it. I prefer not to pass laws that conflict with our constitutional rights, and here in New Hampshire I believe that I am not alone in this.

New Hampshire’s Live Free or Die mentality cries out for independent choice and thought. Most of New Hampshire still participates in Town Hall Meeting forms of government — a wonderful tradition that allows us to participate in what happens in our communities.

New Hampshire is a wonderful state and when our Founding Fathers first looked upon this area they knew this was a place for the independent family to grow unfettered by corruption and regulation of their every move. I would like to keep it that way. Will you join me?