This morning as I sat on my workstation, my mind went straight into my thoughts. I was gazing out of my window far ahead than my vision could reach. I squinted my eyes at the reluctant sun peeping out of the stubborn clouds that have encroached the sky for the last couple of days. I glared at them unconsciously as if to threaten them to give the sun some respect and space, enough to come out fully. He needs to have his time as well. The sudden realization of my weird mental monologue made me chuckle out loud as I started to wonder what I should write about today. In the background, I could hear Pharrell Williams ‘Freedom’ loud and proud from my laptop. My fidgety fingers paused as I listened to the lyrics with lines. I guess I have found my topic for today. with a smile on my face, I listened to the rhythms and lyrics within.
‘…Who cares what they know
Your first name is free
Last name is Dom
cause you still believe where we are from.’
It dawned upon me what words to write us a song? My hands started picking on the keyboard and as if in a world of my own I started my journey of the day!
I remember the years when the subject of civics in my school became a matter of political science as I entered my college years. I was so fascinated with the term as if it gave me the power to be an adult. Today when I think about my fascination with the subject, I laugh out loud with ridicule for my ideas and ideals. I remember our family discussions about the political situation around the globe and at the time I felt so proud that I have claimed my right to speak from my subject knowledge. I could not understand at the time during heated arguments about freedom, and equality, when my father in his (un)usual patient voice used to make me understand, ‘you will understand the gravity of these words which you fight for when you grow up.’ And I used to look at him as if he was joking. In my mind, I almost ridiculed the logic. How much more would I need to grow up to understand, I used to wonder at that time. It is now that I realize, I am 40 and still, sometimes I get so confused with the twisted implications and meanings of the word in question.
What does freedom mean to you? Is it social, political, economic, religious-cultural equality to you or is there still more scope to it? What does feeling freedom as an individual mean to you? As a parent, as children, as human, as people belonging to all genders, or even as an individual or a group entity, what is your take on freedom? I know we use this term in one way or the other in our everyday conversations but how grave does its meaning sink for us, any suggestions? Because for my freedom, when I think about it, has travelled a long way that what I used to understand when I was in my younger years. Today when I read the word, I not only think it to be a concept of equality. I feel it to be more like the idea of mutual respect! The definition of freedom as ‘the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants or the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved’ has a small word missing that is respect. You may very well differ from me because it is your freedom but when I think of the word, I find ‘respect’ overshadowing the other synonyms.
This ability to behave to work without barrios may indeed be a core word meaning where everyone has the freedom to perform any activity without force in practical life. But to me, the addition of a sense of respect brings self-accountability towards life in general. It is the idea of respect that makes us realize that we don’t belong to anyone. We are individuals and each needs to respect the other to bring a wholistic sense of freedom. George Michael‘s freedom say the same,
‘…All we have to see
Is that I don’t belong to you
And you don’t belong to me.
When you listen to the accompanying lyrics you realize that it is the sense of respect that people need in their life to feel free. The music that we listen to, the lyrics that we sometimes believe in or relate ourselves with are all part of human emotions. Be it everyday existence, personal or professional relationships, or even Psychological freedom, the need for respect is integral. For you, as readers and for me as a writer I feel we both need this freedom so that we can realize the importance of our co-existence. You may be an individual, you may be a partner, an employer, parent, friend, acquaintance. I may be anyone, a child, any gender, employee, someone important or invisible, but the moment we come across this powerful word of freedom, there needs to be a conscious realization that respect should never be far behind. It should be a give and take of mutual value that we give from one to the other. Freedom is about political, social, economic, religious, gender equality about the choices we make as an entity. But the sense of mutual respect must be the core of this equality. What you feel and believe gives way to the amount of respect that you give to yourself and others in every small and big aspect.
As I am trying to wrap my head around the topic of today I looked up through my glasses. I can see the sun now fully coming out. It is as if it has found the courage to find its respect or perhaps the cloud has finally found its peace with it and gave it its due respect. I am smiling with a wide grin on my contended face. I may sound cliched but to me, at this moment it is the confirmation of my belief that we all can coexist without overpowering each other. We can respect each other to bring that sense of equality. With equality, there comes a sense of responsibility to respect in return. This mutual give and take rightfully justify the idea of real freedom! It is in a way freedom of equality to respect. It may be the same for you or maybe there is more…