Tuesday, April 20, 2021

WEP April Challenge-Freedom Morning

Hello everyone! It's time for WEP's April Challenge! This month's challenge draws inspiration from the wonderful work of art FREEDOM MORNING.

If you'd like to join in with us, click here!

I typically write a work for fiction for these challenges, but this time around, I felt like jotting down some thoughts on freedom and sharing them with everyone. Feel free to let me know what you think and what freedom means for you in your life.

A Perspective on Freedom

What is freedom?

This is a question I think we should all be asking ourselves, and we should also examine why we come up with the particular answers we do.

Freedom calls to us all as human beings. For those who have been enslaved, it may have seemed like an impossible dream. Even so, the call of freedom is a strong one, and no matter how long the odds, human beings are often willing to undertake tremendous risk to make freedom a reality for them.

When I think of freedom, I tend to see it as opportunity. You can make choices for yourself such as what kind of job you do, where you live, and how you spend your time. Outside forces and people may place certain limitations on you, but you can live your life in a way that brings you happiness and satisfaction.

Events in the world have prompted me to shift my perspective on what freedom means. Freedom isn’t only about the big picture. It is also found in the smaller aspects of life that many of us take for granted.

I live in the United States. The land of the free. We pride ourselves on that description. Yet our history of slavery proves that freedom was not always available to everyone living here. And while many would like to wave away that history and pretend the effects of that past cannot still be felt today, they’re wrong.

As I watch current events unfold, I can’t help but think of all the little ways my freedom differs from the freedoms of others.

I am free to get pulled over by the police and not be afraid. I am free to walk through a neighborhood without anyone questioning my right to be there. I am free to go into a store and not be singled out as a potential shoplifter.

Freedom encompasses so many little things I usually take for granted. I can take them for granted, because my skin color allows me to.

Sometimes people need a shift in perspective. We need to challenge ourselves to question our assumptions and listen to others whose lives and experiences differ from ours.

The dawn of freedom for those who were once enslaved was filled with hope and many promises of a better future. More than a century and a half later, some of those promises have yet to be fulfilled.

We must work together to fulfill them.

Word Count: 408



  1. Laura, this is a wonderful response to the challenge. We do need to examine what freedom means, not just to us, but to the wider community. The freedoms we take for granted will perhaps never be available to so many in the world today. Just think about the millions of refugees - they have the freedom to escape war and deprivation, but will anyone grant them the freedom of entering a rich, robust economy. Probably not, judging by those languishing at borders. Freedom must leave a bitter taste in their mouths.

  2. Hi Laura - what you've written here is so true - we are lucky to be who we are ... we have freedom, we have abilities to help us through challenges ... I would need to write a great deal about this ... which I'd rather not start.
    I am reading articles, books on life in recent years, 50, 90, 120 years ago ... such different aspects ... slaves, barbarians, women, young children, weak, disabled, some men - all humans ... I would hope more people will think more and do much to help others ... so we can all have freedom mornings.
    Excellent ... thanks for making us think - Hilary

  3. Hi,
    One thing I will say, that freedom cannot ever be defined as it has been since ancient days, by the colour of the skin or a person's nationality.
    Your take on the prompt fascinated me. Well done.
    Shalom aleichem

  4. Love your thought-provoking piece for this month. I have been thinking a lot lately about how some people do not have the same freedoms as I do too because of the color of their skins. It's so not right and we need to change it.

  5. Humanity has a long way to go until we achieve that goal of Freedom for all. Awareness and conscious effort to do better are so important. Your piece does that so well!

  6. Freedom is innate. Some choses to avail it, some choses not to.
    Slavery is not only part of United States' history but also part of history of humsn society. Native Americans enslaved Irish explorers. African tribes enslaved each other in war booty so did rest of the world.
    World has long been consumed in war and epidemic. Should we cling on eternal servitude of respectively gurdges and grief? Or, should we talk to each other to dissipate tension and to console tattered souls to move on united?

  7. I grew up in the Soviet Russia. Our leaders always told us that we, living in the communist block, were free, but the the rest of the world were enslaved by capitalism. So many decisions were made for us by the government, but that meant we as individuals didn't have to deal with any consequences. The government dealt with those too. Some considered it freedom.
    Only after I immigrated to Canada, I realized what freedom really meant.
    Freedom not only means I'm free to make any choice I want - in my personal and professional life - but it also means I have to deal with the consequences of my decisions. Nobody else will. There is no safety net for me, unless I myself prepared it beforehand.
    That is why so many Russians still resist the true democracy and its freedom. They are happy to give the government the rights to chose for them and deal with the consequences too.
    I embrace my freedom - the freedom to choose right or wrong, the freedom to make my own mistakes and fix them. But not everyone thinks that. Many people would be content to let the government decide for them. And if something goes wrong - well, it wasn't their decision after all.

  8. It must be interesting to not fear the police. Not feel ostracized. Some days I wonder if I should keep my mouth shut when people online, even ones I've known for years, mistake me for a female and don't know I'm a Native American. (Put the name of my tribe right there in my own name, still not enough.) Maybe I'll get cut from the "group" for being who I really am.

    There's a line in the movie The Patriot, where the French man Jean Villeneuve says "Your sense of freedom is as pale as your skin.”

    Anyway. Great essay.

    J Lenni Dorner~ Co-host of the #AtoZchallenge, Debut Author Interviewer, Reference& Speculative Fiction Author

  9. I agree with you and the events of yesterday and the trial of a former police officer found guilty is a big step in the right direction. I hope America will never go backwards again.

  10. Good take on the prompt and thoughtful.

  11. Hello Laura. It's nice you thought of initiating a discussion around freedom. Freedom has several facets. If you are the other in any sense- by means of your gender, colour, caste (in India), your sexual preference, etc., you are probably going to wait endlessly for the freedom you dream of. To me, freedom is simply the ability to be able to exist out of your own free will.
    sonia from https://soniadogra.com

  12. Thought provoking and apt take on the prompt, Laura. Freedom is ultimately about choice, and context as well. Should my freedom encompass the right to not wear masks or not vaccinate during a time when that choice endangers others?

    Slavery is as old as civilisation itself - it's not just America, all societies are affected by it. There is no level playing field anywhere. An unequal world is an unhappy world where poverty, exploitation and crime proliferate. The question is do we take cognizance of that and find ways to move towards a more equal, more just system for everybody or do we stay stuck in our little bubbles of privilege and forget about the marginalised till some catastrophe plays out to right the imbalance.

  13. An intriguing piece of flash about the many faucets of freedom often over looked until they enter a person's life. Well done, Laura.

  14. The world is suffering and the fix is neither simple nor easy. Thank you for sharing your essay.

  15. Lovely in sentiment and in word choice. You can tell this truly comes from the heart. Thank you for sharing.

  16. That's so true - that we are free to not be afraid when pulled over for speeding for example - this is true even in India where my privilege, and my class keeps me safe and gives me a freedom not everyone has. Thought provoking essay. Let's hope things change.

  17. Nicely put. The freedoms that some take for granted are freedoms that others will never know. Relativity is such an important consideration. The biggest challenge is bridging the awareness to the solution!

  18. I always shake my head when people say that issues such as racism and sexism no longer exist. They clearly do.

  19. Good take on freedom, and what should be the obvious ways in which freedom isn't given to all equally in our country (or any other). I also like Olga's reminder that freedom includes responsibility for our choices. None of us exists in a vacuum, so our freedoms--our choices--always impact others.