Edge Life by Cathy Combs

Freedom: A Cherished Vulnerability

In even considering what to say about freedom, one of the many thoughts and feelings I experienced is the sheer joy that I can even consider this question in the privacy of my own home. I know others don't have that freedom, or that reality.

Another of the many thoughts and feelings I experienced is the awareness that I can take my private thoughts and feelings out into the public sector and effect change through my words and actions. By my words and actions, I can shape the definition of freedom that we live by. I can say that censorship is the tool of the weak and the fearful. I can take my grievances to a court of law. I can even decide who sits on that court of law.

By defining freedom as a cherished vulnerability, I am keenly aware that my life rests on the bones of the women and men who rallied for the inalienable right to be considered free and equal, no matter their sex or their color. I am all too aware that there is work to be done. When will the ERA be not only cherished, but passed unanimously? When will there no longer be racism, sexism, classism?

Do we in America really experience freedom? Or are we slaves to our society? The extent that we are free depends upon how well we really know what is going on in the world. Do we see the suffering all around us? Or do we turn a blind eye and heart and say there is no hunger in America? Do we feed the hungry? Do we clothe the poor? Do we educate our children to the value of diversity? Do we love our neighbor? Do we dissent when we know that laws and policies are wrong?

If we were to consider any of these situations and say that I am only one person (What can I possibly do?”) then I would be a slave to society. I am not a slave to society. I am not a slave to fear. I am free. I am free to feel my vulnerability. I am free to cherish my freedom. I am not only free. I am responsible, and “response-able,” for making this world a better place for all! That task is my ultimate responsibility, my ultimate freedom, my ultimate joy.

In going about my task, I hold the indomitable Spirit of Love in my heart and I am mindful that there are millions and millions of people with me along the freedom trail!

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