Freedom is not given, it is something we have to take for ourselves. In this article for Brain Pickings, Maria Popova explores the work of James Baldwin who says that we have “habitual ways in which we imprison ourselves and relinquish our own freedom”.
Baldwin equates our individual awakening to the strength of a country. He says, “A country is only as good… only as strong as the people who make it up and the country turns into what the people want it to become”.
Editor’s Note: We are reminded of this work as the call for lockdowns and other coronavirus restrictions intensify, and the battle for human freedom and dignity has began. It reminds us that we have the responsibility to fight for our freedoms. Often, the external prison we experience is a product of an internal struggle we must overcome. What is it in the culture of our societies that has enabled governments to isolate entire populations from each other? What social dynamics and societal structures have enabled such human-rights-violating policies to last for months? What is in our societal cultures that will enable governments to manipulate our thought processes and take away our ability to think and decide for ourselves?
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