We Are Born Free…

Humans may not fly like a bird, but we can fly through our dreams and reach unimaginable heights when realizing what we set ourselves for.

We can do that because we are born free, and are the masters of our destiny.

But maybe freedom still is the biggest dream, or fear, of humankind.

Forgive me if this post is not an inspirational one, because what is moving me to write today is instead, a feeling of unrest.

Unrest, because in fact, freedom is not yet enjoyed by everyone on this planet. Currently, in some parts of the world, there still exists slavery, human trafficking, child labor, dictators and authoritarian rulers, and some are even ‘democratically’ elected.

Unrest, because I watch with concern the increase of populist, far-right governments in the western ‘free’ world, followed by divisionary opinions and beliefs on matters like Brexit, migration, climate change, and even adoption of theories like a flat world, and denial of the evolution theory.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This unrest has been building up for a while, because it is inescapable to not be present on social media, passively or actively, without being exposed to some trolls, who can be a president, a politician, a common citizen, a journalist, or your neighbour, attacking anyone who disagrees with them, and unfortunately, stalking, harassing, and disseminating lies and fake news, spiced up with hatred, racism, xenophobia, and some more hate.

And what makes it disheartening is to realize that people like that have followers, who choose to follow these ideas.

What motivates them? Will it be fear of freedom and responsibility, thus delegating it to rulers, as the French thinker Étienne de la Boétie explained it in the year 1549 in his “Discourse of Voluntary Servitude” – one of the most vibrant essays ever written on freedom?

That, above all, has made me increasingly restless and concerned.

Have you been too? What are your thoughts?

Posted by

Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do when I want.

19 thoughts on “We Are Born Free…

  1. I do agree. Humanity is always surprising me. I live in the United States, and everyday has huge clouds cast from our current government. We’ve had some light in the dark with the new wave of women in the House of Representatives, and the Democrats proposal for a New Green Deal. The last two years has been an assault on our democracy and human rights. I take small steps to find clarity and be involved in the resistance. My response to your commentary is to keep optimistic and advocate for your beliefs.

    Like

  2. I have been following the developments in your country as well, and share the optimism with the new wave of women and the New Green deal.
    Thanks for the response, Sally. It’s indeed necessary to keep optimistic and true to our beliefs. It’s essential to not become a passive part of the audience but to be proactive and aware of the changes that are happening around us.
    Have a lovely day!

    Like

  3. It’s hard not to let a feeling of unrest turn into a feeling of complete disgust and just throw up our hands. What I have to force myself to do is TRY to see why we have turned in the directions we have, to see the other side, so that we know what we are really up against. And then we have to resist in whatever ways we are each capable of, whether that is an all-out fight or a quiet insistence on what we really stand for in all these places where true freedom is under attack.

    Like

    1. I agree, as at times we witness so much absurd and surreal things that one cannot but feel powerless.
      I see myself revisiting history and the anger and resentment that preceded tragic events, for instance, WW1.
      I’m not a negative person, but I cannot turn my face and to not recognize that the world right now feels like going through an age of anger again.
      And for that you’re also right that we have to resist and stand up for freedom, and human values.
      Thanks for joining the conversation and helping me to understand this chaos.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Lucile, I agree with you on every detail. Some nights I cannot sleep because of this, some days I cannot think because of this…what you call unrest. Some of what is happening is unfathomable, and I cannot take in all information from media – and should not, and must not. I do what I can in my little world, and I cling to what positive forces there are. But, to tell you the truth, I do not understand what is happening to people and this world. As you say, it has been building up for some time. In our community and with our friends, we try to work for the good things, to meet the trolls with facts and positive arguments. It is a group on the internet/facebook called #jagärhär (Iamhere). We try to go into threads that are negative and people’s threads where we believe they need support for a good thing. I also cling to the rise of the young through Greta Thunberg. Her climate awareness is strong and thousands of young people around the world are now on strike for the climate.
    We have to do our best – and not stand quiet onlookers.
    I suffered a real shock when Donald Trump was elected, and his impact on the world has not been positive. Now Brazil, Argentina, Turkey, Russia, Syria a.s.o But we must believe in the good inside people. We must. Thank you for posting on this. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the comment and the insights, Leya. I’m relieved to read that I’m not becoming pessimistic nor negative but just being aware of the real threats to the world now and the near future.
      It felt like talking to you in person as all you said expresses exactly my thinking. I wish we lived in the same country.
      I’m impressed with the action taken by you and your friends, choosing to take clear actions by this Facebook group, and effect real change, instead of just talking about.
      That’s commendable and I’m proud of you.
      We need more actions like that and more people like yourselves in the world.
      I truly believe in the good inside people and that’s what keeps me thinking that good will be stronger than bad, winning before this world turns upside down.
      Thanks for the inspirational dose of hope.
      Have a beautiful weekend.

      Like

  5. As 2018 began its transition to 2019, I wrote:

    September was the month when the American political environment had me wonder if I, like Washington Irving’s character, Rip Van Winkle, had slept through a cultural change so profound that my childhood values, morals, and guiding principles were left to rot in the wave of adults regressing back to the elementary school playground’s name-calling, bullying, and violence that left me cringe and hide with overwhelming fear and confusion.

    What has blinded us to empathy? When did social justice become a basis of negation? How did human rights become a political loss? While the Great Wall of China is one of the great architectural wonders of the world, does anyone remember the lives of those encircled by the Warsaw Wall or the delight when the Berlin Wall came down?

    If I didn’t have photography which invites me to shift “focus”, would this social regression have me rise up in anger and resentment? Would I become blind and deaf to my own moral shame and moral dread? So…in reflection contemplative photography invited my internal voice to become silent and see the world through a different lens.

    Like

    1. Brenda, I’m grateful to learn so much from your words.
      Your question on what is causing blindness to empathy, human rights, social justice, all-encompassing signs of social regression and denial of the past, struck me silent.
      I don’t want to easily accept that humans are so damn as to repeat history, but when revisiting the past and finding so many similarities from triggers of actual and past events, one cannot but become appalled with human stupidity to deny and repeat the same errors.
      How has contemplative photography helped you to see the world through a different lens?

      Like

      1. For me, to photograph through the eyes of contemplative photography is to open myself – quietly – to the silence of the world as it is – now – and allow the world to “call to me” through its amazing colors, texture, patterns, light. What better way to escape this cloud of discontent…to be present to what is and not overlaid with concepts, fantasy, expectations, and a ruminating mind.

        Like

  6. I tend toward optimism, and I like to think that many of the world’s current struggles, includinig the alt-right, “backwards” stance many western governments are taking as welll as the threat of climate change are necessary hurdles we need to overcome to reach a higher ground as a global community. I see this as a learning experinence, and I think humanity will come out stronger on the other end.

    That said, I understand why so many people feel disheartened, and I also remember that coming out stronger on the other end requires hard work and perseverance. I do think that’s happening already, though, as more and more people are standing up against the injustices they see–towards other people and towards our Earth. I know my goal as a teacher is to instill kindess, empathy, and a sense of social responsibiltiy in my students. I hope my actions along with the actions of many others will have a ripple effect in creating a more positive future. I hope all the positive action will slowly overtake those of the people spreading hate. Change doesn’t happen overnight, but I believe that every action rooted in kindness and empathy makes a difference.

    I hope you’re doing well, Lucile!

    Like

    1. Hi Britta, I’m doing well and trust you’re happy and healthy, enjoying your life.
      Your comment and your presence here put a big smile on my face, for we haven’t been in contact in a while, but also because you brought hope. Your generation is showing what needs fixing and is acting upon it. That’s transformational and encouraging.
      I’m sure you’ve been successful with your students and planting many seeds of kindness, empathy and social justice in one of the most individualistic and competitive societies of the world.
      Thanks for bringing light to my restless moments of reflection.
      Have a beautiful weekend.
      Lucile

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, it’s been so long! I’m happy to be back in touch! Life is pretty swell for me right now. I have a lot of things to look forward to. 🙂 I hope you are well, too!

        So happy to have had a positive impact on your day. Multiple small acts of kindness can change the world.

        Like

What do you think? I'd love to hear it all.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.