Every so often a news item makes us appreciate how lucky we are to live in a not-perfect but free and democratic society. I know that I can voice opinions here without fear of injury or death.
It is therefore deeply disturbing that a fourteen-year-old girl, Malala Yousafzai is fighting for her life in hospital having been the target for execution because she dared to speak up for the right for girls to have an education in her homeland.
In her blog for the BBC she described what it was like to live in a Taliban-controlled area of Pakistan and she almost paid for the writing with her life.
Freedom sometimes has a higher price than we realise.
For details of how to support Malala Yousafzai: