Freedom In Pandemic Times
This time of year has me thinking about freedom. With the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, I have been challenging my view of what it means to be free.
What is freedom, really? Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Based on this definition, I can think of so many examples of freedoms that are taken away from us on a daily basis. From the most basic freedom of a black man in fear of racial profiling to a woman speaking up over domestic abuse to office employees speaking up in fear of losing their job or chance at a promotion. This is what has me think about what role I will play. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, "No one is free until we are all free." I have committed to help where I can to change the tide. I have taken two initial steps on this path:
- I have become aware of my own biases. It is normal and natural to have them; we are all biased. No two people see the world the same way; we each view it through the lens of our own experiences, values, and viewpoints.
- I have educated myself by reading books and talking to people. Here are a few books that I recommend: "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism" by Robin DiAngelo and "How to Be an Antiracist" by Ibram X. Kendi
"Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. These are inalienable rights that the Declaration says have been given to all humans by their creator and which governments are created to protect. We need to own our part to ensure that everyone, including ourselves, is free.