In my June blog post I talked about finding your flower – that special something which brightens your day and brings joy to your life. I also talked about freedom – how we take it for granted until we don’t have it any more.
The other strange thing about freedom is that, as a concept, it doesn’t exist on its own. If you have freedom it either means you are free to do something or go somewhere – or it means you’re free from something or somewhere. Freedom to…or freedom from.
Freedom from has harsher overtones. It implies that a person has formally not had freedom – that they were in some way imprisoned. This might not mean imprisonment in the strictest sense – a small cell, a miniscule window, locked doors and scary fellow inmates. It could mean being unable to make one’s own choices due to the obligations, expectations and limitations of others…or by one’s own bodily or financial restrictions. To be suddenly free from such strictures sounds wonderful – like a dove being released into a clear blue sky.
Thus, freedom from leads to freedom to. But what then? Once a person has freedom, what are they going to do with it? Where are they going to fly?
One of my characters, in the novelThe Bell Curve, has this very problem. Margaret has been a stay-at-home mother so long she almost become institutionalised. So when her youngest starts showing definite signs of no longer needing her as he once has, Margaret is lost. She sees that she has the freedom to now choose her future but does not know what she wants to do – or even what she is capable of doing.
But freedom is a precious gift. If we have it, we all ought to be thinking about how we can use it to lead interesting and fulfilled lives – and how we can make the lives of others richer in the process.
If you want to check out what happened to Margaret, check out The Bell Curve here.
Coming soon. . .