how do you frame freedom for yourself?
“ Any good editor would have told the founding fathers to go back and add more detail, for the love of god.” Heehee! 👏
I think you’re right! A few other nuggets that could be worth exploring —
1. The Civil Rights movement has long had a gorgeous, nuanced conception of Freedom that I find deeply appealing on a soul level. You could say all the spirituals are about freedom from literal slavery, but I think there’s more than that. There is a kind of freedom TO — to be the best that we can be as a people, not just racially defined but as a collective who loves each other, under God. There is a sense that it matters HOW we are, not just merely whether we are acting as we desire. At least that’s what I hear and love when I hear “freedom” sung.
2. I highly recommend Maggie Nelson’s book “On Freedom” because it looks at this constellation of ideas so keenly and beautifully. Responsibility, care, constraint… all these concepts feature in the book. It could be useful. She’s also married, a mom, and I don’t know if she has a cat but! You get my gist ;) she seems both extraordinarily radical and smart, but also grounded in a family she decided to make with her one wild and precious life.
I've been fascinated by Kierkegaard's definition of “anxiety" as "the dizziness of freedom” -- when one lacks all commitments, and has total freedom, anxiety is what arises. I find that well-placed commitments are also what brings purpose in my life - commitments to partners, friends, cats, companies.
And as we've been chatting about over pancakes, my commitments also go through periods of transformation (🐍🐛🦋) - and this quote has been my guide during those moments: “Don't surrender all your joy for an idea you used to have about yourself that isn't true anymore.” ― Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things
Thanks for writing this ❤️
loved the way you connected both personal and at national level.
unearthing self-imposed definition of freedom is what we are struggling with both on a national and personal level. once we understand the desire for freedom and what that desire means, it is easy to cope through with these struggling thoughts of freedom. been on a similar journey as well, but realizing the desire has two sides of the coin: pleasure and pain. a lesson that i settled on from my personal journey, freedom comes from freeing the mind, though not easy to do, and is a constant battle.
Loved this. Commitment is so wildly underrated today.
True freedom is evolving to a state where one can live truly independently without even the spiritual crutches of meaning or a purpose.
Commitment is a great tool to help oneself evolve until it doesn't end up being another one of the things that one cannot live with.