This post will be from a place of “freedom”; an existential concept I’ve been working on in my studies. “Freedom” is the inescapable aspect of the human condition; we are the authors of our lives and therefore are responsible for our destiny and accountable for our actions.” (Corey, 2017) For us here in the states, today is a national holiday.
An entire day dedicated to someone who took the freedom away from a native culture. Conscious awareness is complicated when talking about people’s freedom on such a large scale. Good for the one is often devastating for another. Humans have a funny way of celebrating. It takes a lot of emotional freedom to realize and recognize right from wrong.
What does that even mean? We say that we are free to say what we wish, when we wish, to whomever we wish. Writer’s have to hold onto their freedom of speech. We develop rules of engagement so we don’t step outside the lines of acceptable behaviors. We aren’t free to harm others, nor should we be. We aren’t free to hurt other human beings, but people do it. We are free to love whom we wish, but society has opinions about that too.
So what are we free to do?
It can be overwhelming to think of the lives of people who have all of their freedom’s taken away from them. It can be sorrowful to think about what life must have been like for those indigenous people 500 years ago as they watched helplessly while someone else just came and took everything from them. Would a positive psychologist have helped them to be happier after they lost everything, including their lives? No.
“When we know better, we do better” ~Maya Angelou
Why is it then, that even though humans know better, we don’t always do better? Going back to the existential philosophies so many of us cherish as beacons of truth, we still have the freedom to choose. We can choose to be good, or we can choose to be bad. A lot of our lives today are unconsciously lived. We rely on the internet to think for us. We don’t think before we act, we just ‘click’ or act the way we think that our social presence will make us gain more ‘likes’.
Is that freedom? Or, is that just another human condition that binds us in the free-for-all need for power, so very like the origins of the condition of our country today.
Humans are so much more aware of ourselves now, and yet, we are no more truly ready to live a boldly authentic life free from social norms than we were 500 years ago. What would our country look like today if we had lived side by side with each other, in harmony and peace? What would we look like today, if everyone found a way to get along?
What if, we chose love over hate, acceptance over fear, and truth over injustice throughout history?
“And I said to myself, what a wonderful world” ~ Louis Armstrong
About the Author: Karen Henry is a former university professor and now author of Indelible Women: The OM [Original Me]. She owns Henry Healing and Ink, Honey Press, a boutique Indie publishing house. Karen’s been a positive psychology practitioner since 2007.