FREEDOM is a powerful word.
It can mean a lot of things in a lot of different situations. It can mean democracy in government, personal independence and a right to speak, power to act individually.
In a general sense freedom means NOT being enslaved.
Now without getting into too much history or depth I want to simply answer this question for myself,
WHAT DOES FREEDOM MEAN TO ME?
Most people at some point in time experience some form of enslavement. In the Free World and under democratic governments for the most part we don’t corporately face the physical enslavement that some other countries or people experience. For the most part we as free people in these countries have a voice, a right to speak up and stand up for ourselves and take action from our own ‘free will’.
But what I have come to realize is that we as humans do face enslavement regardless of our country and government. It can look different for different people. We can be enslaved to fame, fortune, careers, and through this enslavement feel like we have no choice.
Freedom to me is choice, having the right and ability to make choices with consequences that we individually are responsible for.
When I say we all have been enslaved I mean that in a way that very well could mean self-induced enslavement.
Enslavement looks like control, power over something/someone, forced labor or actions, feeling like you owe your life to something or someone.
We can face enslavement in relationships through physical abuse, emotional control, feeling like someone has power over us in our jobs, relationships, family etc. We can face enslavement that is self-induced by our own weaknesses and demons. And in some serious cases there is physical enslavement, where people young or old are forced to live a life bound to someone else, owing their life to that organization or person.
Whatever the act of enslavement is I truly believe we have all felt a level of it small or large at some point in our life.
I know for myself, FREEDOM is something that is constantly on the spotlight, something that I fight to have. I have people in my life people who choose to try and take that freedom away constantly, I battle myself for freedom and the demons that come with it through a lack of belief in myself at times, or opportunities running out etc. And most importantly, I believe in FREEDOM for others, the freedom to have and make a choice for themselves.
Too often I’ve seen and gotten caught in conversations with people where they want to blame something, or someone for their actions (myself included). Most of the time these blame shifting situations are completely self-induced. I truly believe we are given the right to freedom as individuals on this earth. How we live it out, how we act on our freedom is on us, whether we abuse it and enslave others or ourselves , or we use it for good.
Now I come to say this all because although we all face a level of enslavement in our lives, there are people who truly are slaves for lack of a better word, people who are caught up in sex trafficking or slave labor to name a few. People who are caught in lives like this don’t get the opportunity to make their choices. And if they do, their choices usually come down to literal life or death decisions. Freedom should not have to come down to life or death as the two options, but in parts of this world there are people where freedom is that choice and choosing to live is not living freely but choosing to be enslaved and to live a life that is not their own.
So for me I will keep fighting for freedom. Freedom from my own demons, my own self-induced enslavement, freedom from other’s who want to enslave me emotionally or relationally, and freedom for those who don’t have the voice or opportunity to choose it.
Purpose Jewelry for this month until July 30th is running a campaign centered around FREEDOM to honour World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30th. I encourage you to take a peak at what they’re about and spend a few minutes asking yourself the same question:
What does FREEDOM mean to me?
We can do something about it, individually or corporately but I honestly believe it starts with us, asking this question to ourselves and taking the time to really see what it means to be FREE.
You can check out their jewelry and the organization they work with below and use hashtags #wearfreedom #sharefreedom to be entered to win a $100 PURPOSE gift card to shop their products!