I was born and raised right here in the Live Free or Die state of New Hampshire. This ‘Live Free or Die’ state has changed a lot throughout my 38 years of life. For example, I remember being a kid and getting all excited about not having to wear a seatbelt when I turned 16.
No More Seatbelts?!
As a kid, the idea that you didn’t have to wear a seatbelt anymore was exciting! I’d be 16 and have that choice.
There was a law passed sometime before I got my driver’s license at age 16 and no more was that freedom there. We now have a state law that says anyone under the age of 18 must wear a seatbelt, but it’s common sense for all.
Now, do you know why I actually love this? Well, I’m going to tell you.
I believe that common sense should rule all. We don’t need to have all of these damn laws to tell us how to live, how to parent, and what to do in our personal life.
The seatbelt law changing so that all minors must buckle up makes sense to me. Minors aren’t old enough to make their own decisions, they are still after all, under the care of their parents.
As an adult though, I love that we have a choice! We should have that adult choice to wear or not to wear a seatbelt.
So as long as we’re not harming someone else, then why can’t we simply live free or die? It sounds easy, right?
And then I think about the teens of today eating Tide Pods when my youngest child knows that’s the dumbest thing ever! He told me, “listen I can see toddlers doing that, but teenagers? I’m not even a teen and I know better than that!” As you can see, common sense runs strong in that kid 😉
Well, okay then. Maybe some people need a little more restraint in their lives? I don’t know. I guess I still don’t believe that laws change much.
The only thing laws do is restrict those of us who live the simple life, not harming anyone else and simply want to have the FREE AMERICA lifestyle that was pursued by our ancestors.
The ability to live freely, love deeply, pursue and achieve your dreams without much constraint. I miss those chapters in American history, and yes I am currently studying American History with my two middle school children in our homeschool days.
Revisiting American History with my sons is both fascinating and eye-opening!
Okay, now that I’ve gone a little off-topic, I want to get back onto the subject of why I love my home state!
I Grew up in Newport, NH
While I no longer reside in my original home town, when I was about 5 or 6 years of age, my parents purchased a piece of land in Newport, NH. As far as I recall, this was a piece of land that needed to have a driveway put in, electricity run and all of that jazz.
The mission, according to what my Dad has told me is that it would give a piece of land to hand down and a place for us girls (I have one sister) to attend a good school district. My parents have since divorced when my sister and I were younger, so I’m not sure that’s the same mission any longer.
Growing up on about 6-7 acres of land in Newport, NH that had a pond, a 300′ long driveway, access to a river, and snowmobile trails along with neighbors who were always nice to us girls, was amazing!
Having a childhood where you could walk down the road to the other kids’ homes or have them come over to play outdoors was amazing. We even had an ice skating party one year, that well, was a little disastrous, but that’s another story!
There are some pros and cons to having been raised in this small NH town, but I firmly believe having this type of childhood in a small NH town is what helps me maintain a very simple thought process about people, laws of the land, and what we really should have enforced in our personal life or not.
Why is New Hampshire the Live Free or Die state?
Back in 1809 a person known as General John Stark wrote a letter. As an afterword to this letter, he made a “toast” to Veterans stating, “Live free or die. Death is not the greatest of evils.”
This makes sense since General John Stark was a New Hampshire born war Veteran himself. In 1809 the General was not well enough to travel to give a speech, he gave this letter to be read aloud instead.
You can read a copy of the full letter in the Memoir and Official Correspondence of Gen. John Stark: With Notices of Several Other Officers of the Revolution as written by General John Stark’s son, Caleb.
While what General John Stark said is not that uncommon in the history books of that time, the motto is perfect for us who were born and raised in this New England state who truly believe that we all must Live Free or Die.
What does the motto Live Free or Die mean?
I guess people who weren’t raised here or haven’t navigated to the state of New Hampshire before may think our state motto sounds rather harsh.
I personally feel it’s simple.
You can LIVE FREE or DIE. Period. No, we’re not going to be “off with your heads” or whatever, but if you can’t live with the most basic of human senses, common sense, then the rest of us shouldn’t be strangled by too many laws.
Now, with that being said, our state has welcomed some new people and the laws are slowly changing. You see, others who have states that restrict the basic rights to live as we deem fit, raise our kids as we wish and so on and so forth have started to move in and adjust our Live Free or Die way of life.
That’s the problem with this world, those who don’t like the laws in their state, slowly navigate to other states and still work towards the SAME LAWS that strangled them from wanting to reside in their original state.
Need I say more?
Also, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.
I still love our Live Free or Die State and I still believe that seatbelts and helmets may be a great safety device, but I also believe that we are grown adults who can make that independent choice.
If I don’t wear a helmet or a seatbelt, is that going to harm anyone else?
It’s going to harm me. That’s my choice! Not yours!
By the way, I don’t ride motorcycles or bicycles, but I do wear a seatbelt in the vehicle. It’s just my thing, but I don’t think other adults need a law to tell them to do so – it’s not something that will harm another person if they don’t wear it.
Get what I mean? Agree or disagree, I do hope that you comprehend what I’m saying here!
Pros and Cons of my Small Town Life
Finally, I want to share some of the pros and cons of my small-town life and upbringing that I realize makes me a little sheltered about other ways of life and what you experience in your neck of the woods.
I can get from Point A to Point B relatively fast. I don’t have to deal with the anxiety induced city traffic. When I go to Boston?! OMG, I hate it, but I do go there for the New England Aquarium from time to time.
Even though I don’t live in my hometown anymore, I did enjoy growing up in a small town where everyone knew each other. As kids, we couldn’t get away with much because our parents knew each other, friends who not, those parents stuck together and they parented each other’s kids without issues. We were all there for each other, period!
Yup, if I was down at a neighbor’s house in their yard and acting a fool, back then they had the right to discipline me – this concept makes sense to me still! Sadly, it doesn’t work in today’s society, you’d get sued or have some Word War 3 bologna in your face.
Lack of Diversity
One of the cons of being raised in a small town is that you don’t get exposed to much diversity. While this is great for some, as I’ve grown older I realize how sheltered I was. I enjoy social media, for this reason, I can start seeing how others live and what they experience in their area of the world.
The Simple Life
As I said, I am thankful for my Live Free or Die state that offered me a chance to live a simple life. I had a huge yard, I caught bullfrogs, I ran around with the neighborhood kids, we had no city lights or traffics or gang people messing with us as some do in cities.
This is something I’ve seen some of my peers talk about now as adults. There simply isn’t a lot of opportunity in the small town of Newport, NH. Many have flown the nest and headed out to larger towns or cities where there is more opportunity for career growth and experiences.
In conclusion, I love my Live Free or Die state. I believe that we don’t need to be restricted to live a specific lifestyle so as long as it’s not harming anyone else. Such as my seatbelt and helmet argument, neither of those adult decisions harm another person – it just harms our own person.
I believe that we all should be ruled by our own intuition, common sense, and sense of community. I don’t believe that we should live any other way other than the NH way, “Live Free or Die”.
I feel truly blessed to have been raised in the state of NH. I believe my small-town upbringing is what helps me be more open-minded about many areas of life.
Brandy Ellen has been a blogger since 2008 and enjoys spending her free time with her family and making the most out of every moment she has. Brandy enjoys sharing personal stories, tips, and other advice based on real-life & work from home experiences to help others live a fulfilling life.