We live in a ‘free country,’ but somehow we live lives that can feel as if it is hard to move on out from the stations we find our lives in. This may not apply to all. Some are able to find, nay, create contentment in whatsoever period of their life they be in. These are able to create freedom. To carve it out through their presence which ultimately manifest into action.
In this essay, I explore and delineate how we can do just that. Carve and create freedom in whatsoever station of life you may be in. I ask, delve and dive deep under the surface of the waves to simplify how easily we can reach the feeling of freedom and in doing so, be an example unto others to feel and generate this freedom for themselves. These are acts of love and good works unto ourselves and others. We need not be restrained with chains of air, especially when we hold the keys to unleashing and channeling our soul power.
When I was young, even as young as five, I noticed that I was an observer… like a sponge, taking in and studying the actions of others, then somehow reflecting against my own heart the ’why’ in the good, mundane and not so good actions of others. As I grew older, I became interested in philosophy and the thought impetus behind the thought movement of individuals who went on to see their understandings ripple far away from them into the operation of all kinds of micro and macro systems of governance. From how individuals govern themselves to how nation-states and global politics move and integrate.
All social change begins in the heart. The soulful thought process behind Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s fueling of the French Revolution with his intellectual quashing of the subduing of the rights of human beings and the individuals who called for revolution in America complete with the God-bestowed rights we were always afforded to enjoy all started at the heart and mind level. These thoughts began quietly through observation and reflection of systems of individual and national governance against the tables of our own hearts. God himself said through the Holy Spirit that his Word is written in our hearts. This conscience of soul is one that does not go down quietly into complacency but lives and yearns to be in a state of freedom. So it is that as long as there be injustices on this Earth, as long as there be systems of rule that reverberate not rightly with this conscience of our souls, then there shall be men and women, even children, who will rise up in proactive defense of the human spirit and its need to be free, be at rest and in exercise of all it was meant to be and do in praise of God.
George Washington’s disdain of accepting the temptation of monarchic rule for himself, Egypt’s President Anwar Sadat's selflessness in bringing about a new kind of governance, Ghandi’s non-violent ‘headlock’ on bringing the British Empire to its heels in India, the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.’s American upheaval, Mother Teresa’s life example, poet Maya Angelou’s quiet works of the soul, freed-slave Harriet Tubman’s perilous night work in the ‘Underground Railroad,’ Siddhartha Gautama’s refusal of a royal life to search out truth and my Lord Jesus Christ’s epic rise and that of his disciples in subverting the governments rule by being selfless, loving and truthful with boldness. All these brought about great change in the time they lived and stand as fiery, unquenchable landmarks of souls on fire that refuse to be extinguished.
We can carve and create freedom by allowing ourselves the choice to do so, irrespective of how much money we have in the bank, where we live, what our abilities or disabilities are. Nothing stopped scientist Stephen Hawking from speaking his mind though he be almost completely physically disabled, for example. After making this choice in thought, we must practice it in action with consistency in varied ways. That is it. We must practice our souls self-expression in order to experience its growth and strengthening. Souls self-express best when the physical manifestations of its communication are done so with selflessness and with the focus of good works unto others. That is to say, that the aim of such expression be focused not on the ‘I,’ but on the ‘us,’ and the ‘we.’ Others ‘catch thisfire’ in this manner and make it unique to themselves because their own hearts recognize the selflessness in the expression. Ghandi was able to see his thought expand so rapidly because of the selflessness in it at a time when great oppression was felt by so many in the land. His action of not seizing concrete political power, but leading by a peculiar bold humility captivated power far more magnanimously. He was able to attain tremendous ‘soft’ political power by connecting with people through their hearts first and then their minds. He held onto power because he lived his soul free from needing more than it had already acquired. His ideas were allowed then to be unrestrained or tainted by ego. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's refusal to exercise dictatorship but to begin a national philosophical conversation on exploring what kind of individual and national governing systems the people wanted took his ego out of the way and invited Egyptians to enter into how they wanted their country to be. In effect, he pushed forward and called for self-expression. He called for liberty and freedom, rather than amassing political power and material wealth to himself through dictate.
We can exercise freedom by educating ourselves on the examples of the game changers and trailblazing men and women who have not stayed quiet, but exercised their minds, their heart and their bodies in advocacy for a social good greater than themselves. Freedom is selfless love for one, for others and for God. Dance, write, speak, move, create. Be bold. Don’t be quiet or timid. Don’t tell yourself you are too old or too young, or not right for the part. You matter. Your heart matters and what is in it should be manifested and amplified from the inside out continuously.
Maya Angelou wrote of the caged bird and let us know why the caged bird sings. It sings because its door is open, thus it is not a caged bird at all. Leave the door for your soul open and live in such a way that others see that their doors need to remain open as well.