Here I have three different takes on FREEDOM, in three different moods I guess. They are all important in our day-to-day lives as well as in our quest for global peace. After all, peace first comes to the individual, the family, the community – before peace comes to the world.
This year’s post, below, speaks to me of how the urgent emotions around the need, yes the right, to freedom we feel when oppressed – whether as a whole people or as an individual – will actually keep us imprisoned even after we should break the visible chains that bind us. It speaks to me of understanding that if people knew better, they would do better and that if we are in an abusive situation, we must free ourselves completely but without the hatred and bitterness I see so often that keeps people stuck in abuse long after it is out of their lives.
This one invokes our freedom (and self-discipline) to choose our response when facing oppression – as Victor Frankl certainly did in Nazi concentration camps. This is related to the idea above, in that just because someone else acts to hurt us, we do not need to then harm OURSELVES by adopting the consciousness of hate. If you have never read Frankl’s first work about how he kept his sanity and his humanity in the camps, “Man’s Search For Meaning,” available here free as a pdf, I highly recommend it.
This one, however is my favorite, at least this morning. It invokes another kind of self-discipline in the name of peace, the FREEDOM we internally grant to and support in ourselves and others to make mistakes. It silences the judge in us. Life is like a pinball machine – we need to bounce of the walls a bit before we find our path.