Often when referring to freedom, the first thought that comes to mind is about territorial and political freedom. For a teenager, freedom may mean being free from parental and guardian control. To a spouse in an abusive relationship, it may mean breaking free from their plight and experience joy and peace. For a prisoner, obviously, freedom is also physical and even more structural as their best wish is to break free from the concrete walls that confine them.
All the freedoms alluded to are obvious, understandable, and relatable. Some of these freedoms perhaps have even been exaggerated more than others. For example, territorial freedom has been the most propagated even from the top of the mountains. The course for its fight has also probably seen the best mobilisation of masses, resources, and worldwide support in some instances.
Some other freedoms seem to have been ignored though. They do not receive the same attention as the other types of freedom probably because they are of a different nature. Some could have received such little attention because they are freedoms of the minority or because they are not culturally supported or acceptable.
Some freedoms may have not received the support and attention they deserve because of the stereotypes about them. For example, a teenager who may explicitly seek freedom from parental control may be perceived as defiant. Their freedom may be seen negatively as it may seem as if they want to live a life of “doing as they wish” or irresponsibly. Although this may not necessarily be the case, often it is subject to patronisation of the individual based on the experience or behavioural evidence of those who may have previously been depicted as having that kind of freedom.
However, often such attitudes towards these freedoms may continue because in fact the subject has not been served with the credit it deserves. No deliberate efforts have been taken either at political, societal, or household level to put it on the table and dissect it. It has not been objectively and properly discussed for the different sides to understand its deeper meaning or even clear up misunderstandings and misconceptions.
The fact that the differences continue and opposing sides remain at loggerheads could be that the subject itself is either exhausted or there is a need for some new type of way. It could be that there is a need to think like there is no box because that is where true freedom begins – in the mind. For this is the freedom that has been neglected and there is no other freedom that can truly be achieved without the achievement of the freedom of the mind first.
Without the freedom of the mind, there continues to be all sorts of odds that befall humanity. Without freedom of the mind comes a loss of opportunities for generational advancement and progress. Without mental freedom comes the existence of all sorts of exploitations, for the mind that is not truly free can easily be manipulated and deceived.
A new type of freedom is the freedom that begins with questioning. It is the freedom that starts with introspection and reflection, with the individual, first. It is the freedom within and not without. It is a freedom which is personal and leaves no room for blame-shifting or self-pity. Not freedom from but the freedom to being. It is freedom of return to the home of our origin and what is truly meant to be before the mind’s capture and deception upon its entry into the complexity and existence of man-made systems and self-imposed mental confinements.
This is the new freedom to be yearned for if we are to experience a heaven on earth because this is the only place we know for no one truly knows whether the one promised truly exists.
By Karlos The Great
OSHIMWENYO is published every Friday in the New Era newspaper with contributions from Karlos Naimwhaka.