I woke up this morning with an intense need to discover what it truly means to experience real freedom. It’s the number one right out of all the basic human needs that people have fought and died for, because if you start with that all other needs will fall into place. I wonder why that is? Right now in my heart body and soul I know exactly why the phrase “Give me liberty or give me death” became so popular, not only was it ironic that a president who would later be involved in the slave trade could say such a thing (and none of the textbooks throughout my day pointed out the irony) but even right now I am feeling restricted on many levels. The more research I do, I find that I have had liberties taken away on such deep and broad levels that I don’t even realize just how easily the neck of freedom can be crushed by the boot of oppression. To be honest, I don’t want to think about it. The ultimate expression of being human is to express the essence of God in you. To me this is peace, love, and neutrality. Another important concept I associate with my idea of God is omnipotence. God is everywhere at all times, free, like the air, and to me that is a satisfying illustration of freedom. It gives me a sense of understanding about what it truly means to be free. There is the freedom to think for one’s self without being bombarded with media propaganda, the freedom to move about without being confined, the freedom to go anywhere in the world without having to show a document that says that you “belong” only to this or that country. I don’t know if we will ever live on that type of planet Earth, it seems we’ve g one too far away from having personal and collective liberty, and I don’t know what we will have to do to get it back.
For example, as a country, we have agreed to give up certain freedoms because we have been told by the government that it will make us safer. Freedom of privacy is one of the major ones that has been systematically chipped away. Now we have to identify ourselves so that our moves can be tracked, and more technology is being introduced to the masses over time to streamline that process so that it’s even more efficient at predicting your next move by configuring all of your past ones. It’s a fear mongering technique to tell us that “there’s someone out to get us, so we need your cooperation on identifying every living soul on the planet” and it works, and it has caused us even to support killing others who were just minding their own business because we need to eradicate people who are “jealous of our lifestyle.” Do you see how our need for liberty can be politicized so that people can have their way with us as “citizens?”
If I had to choose a place that comes to mind when I think of freedom it would be California-The Sunshine State. The desert in Arizona might work for me as well. I feel like my time in The Big Apple is winding down. I never cared to much for apples anyway, but I have ALWAYS loved sunshine.
Feeling like I need a life plan, a way out of this madness of putting myself in positions where I must answer to someone, I stumbled upon a self determination assessment by the UIC NRTC Self-Determination Series EXPRESS YOURSELF! ASSESSING SELF-DETERMINATION IN YOUR LIFE, Prepared by Judith A. Cook, PhD, Carol Petersen, MA, and Jessica A. Jonikas, MA. It’s really intended for people with mental illnesses, but I say it’s arguable as to whether we aren’t mentally handicapped ourselves as a country, as a world, considering the ways we have been tricked into believing we are in a free country, a free world. Below is a list of statements that I pondered and realized that so many of them do not apply to me (i.e. “My basic human rights are respected” See my post on the Right to Bare Breasts), and that is simply unacceptable as a woman who is committed to exploring ways of living out my personal liberation (simply put: my dreams.)
How many of you can say yes to ALL of these statements? They only scratch the surface of what it really means to be free on every level of your being; they touch on economic freedom mostly, although some statements explore the freedom to choose who is around you. It’s kinda deep. If you can honestly say yes to every statement, I will give you a virtual dollar. But the satisfaction in itself should be enough.
_____I decide whether to live alone or with someone else.
_____I control who can and can’t come into my home.
_____I can choose where I live.
_____I choose my own friends.
_____I decide whether or not to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
_____I have people in my life who respect my values and choices.
_____I decide how to be part of my community.
_____If I want to go somewhere, transportation isn’t a problem.
_____I’m able to stand up for myself to get what I need.
_____I can deal with abuse, whether it’s verbal, sexual or physical.
_____My basic human rights are respected.
_____I’m free to choose the kinds of goals I want to pursue.
_____I’m able to choose my medical doctor.
_____I freely choose what kinds of medical treatment I get.
_____I decide how involved I want to be in my medical treatment.
_____I have the money I need to live the kind of life I want.
_____I have the final say over how I spend my money.
_____I’m able to control my finances in a way that enhances my life.
_____I feel responsible for my financial future.
_____I decide whether or not to work.
_____I choose what kind of work I do.
_____I choose where I work.
_____I know how to deal with prejudice and discrimination.
_____I’m able to avoid people who show prejudice toward me.
_____I have people in my life who accept me for me.
So, according to this list tell me, are you really free?