I'm feeling good about myself and where I've been. These feelings are like the weather, though, and are subject to change. I'll take today's mood and do what I can with it.
Since I'm feeling so strong, relaxed and positive, my mantra is less about me and more about humanity and the world:
"No one is free unless all are free."
I live by it as a mantra. So many people are willing to let their fear and ignorance parse freedom and equality into compartments of who is really deserving. Many like to blame the victims. It's easier than thinking the issue throught.
"No one is free unless all are free" is a simple statement with profound implications, a good mantra for our world. Many nations, peoples and religions are into a holiday celebration of joy, giving and sharing. Yet so many still lack the basics of freedom and equality worth celebrating. Wars rage. People remain falsely imprisoned. Authoritarian powers decreeing who can and cannot have rights, freedoms and privileges shackle too many people. Too many people shackle themselves with ignorance, arrogance and stupidity. Concepts of freedom and independence are victimized by gross rationalizations for why others should be murdered, tortured and silenced.
For example, my wife is researching suggestions on how to celebrate next year's International Women's Day. While surfing the Internet for ideas, she came across a teenager in America asking what she can do to celebrate IDW at her high school.
Oh, the responses about feminists and Nazis. People wrote about the myth of women not making as much money as men, or about women having the same rights, equality and opportunities as men so why is anything needed. Some stated that women have it much better than men because they're not expected to work and are expected to be cared for by men. The teenager asking for help was attacked for 'her ignorance', with some claiming that she was being victimized by lesbians who couldn't get laid.
The writers responding to her didn't address any of the atrocities regularly taking place around the world. They didn't mention the fourteen year shot in the face because she demands to be educated. Nor was mentioned the women stoned for adultery in some countries, or the women trapped in relationships in America where they're expected to stay barefoot and pregnant. They didn't talk about the women raped by their husbands because it's the husbands' rights to have sex with their wives.
So as I work on my own goals and dream and cope with the limitations imposed on me, it's good to remember that I'm free, but the value of that freedom is diminished so long as others can't share the freedoms and rights that I accept as mine.
"No one is free until all are free."
It's a good mantra to catalyze change.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com