Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage."

In spirit of the American holiday, I'm taking a moment to reflect on what it means to be free.

Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed." And to demand your own freedom takes a lot of courage. Courage that I don't think I have. I think of all of the people in Egypt who went to the streets to demand something more. I don't know if I could even do that. Or the people who escaped war-torn countries in search of something better. Or the ones who marched on Washington or the ones who escaped sexual trafficking or the ones in any war. To demand freedom from oppression is definitely something commendable.

Maybe it is because I have never felt oppressed that I have never done anything monumental to fight for freedom. I can't imagine joining the armed forces and risking my life for the better of everyone else. It sounds selfish, but the whole idea of it sounds so scary. So I have a lot of respect for the ones who do put themselves out there.

Some of my work supports the soldiers who are fighting for freedom. Some people tell me that I'm supporting war and the killing of innocent people. I think of it as protecting the people who are risking their lives, all for freedom.

What is freedom? 
It can be seen in terms of a country being independent and governed by itself. It can be the freedom to not be held as a slave or hostage by anyone. It can be personal. It might mean that you have the freedom to wear what you want and eat what you want and do what you want and say what you want.

But some might not see those things at small.

What is freedom to you?

One last tidbit from Maya Angelou:

The caged bird sings with a fearful trill
of things unknown but longed for still
and his tune is heard on the distant hill
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

1 comment:

  1. We talk a lot about this at St Kates. And read a lot of MLK and Maya, so <3

    I'm convinced you would fight for your freedom if the occasion demanded it.

    Also you don't have to be a soldier in a war to fight for the freedom of the oppressed. Your voice is much more powerful than you may realize!

    As Gobama said: "One voice can change a room, and if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city, and if it can change a city, it can change a state, and if it change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation, it can change the world. Your voice can change the world."


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