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Freedom, despair, bondage, hope, empathy, and perception

2007.09.28
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1. “One of the qualities of liberty is that, as long as it is being striven after, it goes on expanding. Therefore, the man who stands in the midst of the struggle and says, "I have it," merely shows by doing so that he has just lost it.” Henrik Ibsen - Norwegian playwright, 1828-1906.
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2. “He who labors diligently need never despair; for all things are accomplished by diligence and labor.”

Menander of Athens - Ancient Greek Dramatist and Poet, 342 BC-292 BC.
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3. “Man was born free, but is everywhere in bondage.”

Jean-Jacques Rousseau - French philosopher and writer whose novels inspired the leaders of the French Revolution, 1712-1778.
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4. “Never deprive someone of hope; it might be all they have.”
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5. “The great gift of human beings is that we have the power of empathy.”
Meryl Streep - American film actress, b.1949.
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6. “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception” Aldous Huxley - English Novelist and Critic, 1894-1963.
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Freedom, despair, bondage, hope, emapthy, and perception

My posting today is inspired by a photograph taken by Tarhema called Freedom.

His photograph shows a man standing behind a fence of chains. It can be interpreted in many ways. Is the man outside the fence looking in, or is he on the inside looking out? Or is there in reality no fence? Could it be that freedom is nothing but an attitude to perspective, position, or relationship and that by changing either or all of these one's perception of bondage disappears?

I was brought up in Apartheid South Africa. This inhumane era only operated because, broadly speaking, the whites felt they were superior and the blacks inferior. There were many exceptions but it existed because most were inculcated with this perception. The moment the trilogy of Church, State, and religion of the ruling Afrikaner elite was undermined by recognition by the Afrikaner churches that there was no biblical justification for apartheid it was the beginning of the end.

The transition was difficult. The fulcrum moment for me was small but significant. I asked the photocopy man in my Institute to make me some photocopies as that was his job. I greeted him by his name Simeon. He said “Baas (Boss), my name is not Simeon , its Khumalo”. I replied: “OK, Simeon you call me Charlie, and I will call you Khumalo!” I can’t do that Baas”. We stared at each other silently for a while as, in the context of our worlds, we had both stepped over a line of no return. We remained silent for a while then went our ways but from that day on we called each other Khumalo and Charlie respectively. It did not go unnoticed by all the staff of the Institute. Perhaps this may seem to you a trivial moment of history. But it is in such tiny exchanges that nations, peoples, families and relationships change forever.

Tarhema’s photo also reminded me of a conversation with a friend who felt trapped. He said he was “trapped on the inside of a great glass box being stared at by a great crowd of people”. He was shouting and no one could hear him. Perhaps, I suggested, he was on the outside and it was they who were on the inside and could not hear him? This new perspective and insight shifted his perception entirely

As the Egyptian Book of the Living and Dead says: Your feelings give rise to your thoughts, your thoughts become your ideas, your ideas become your actions, your actions your habits, and your habits your destiny. One can only change one's destiny by changing one's feelings.
8 Comments
????? Nice shots!
????? · 2007-09-28: 08:50
openbelarus freedom in blue is something new. YES!
openbelarus · 2007-09-28: 10:56
Cabecilha yours posts belong to a very small group that i visit more than once... i come back to read some passage again... to review one wonderful image... to meditate on some ideas... :)
Cabecilha · 2007-09-28: 11:16
Carley and I do the same (as Cabecilha.) Your posts are always beautiful, usually thought-provoking and not only are well-worth, but need another viewing!
Carley · 2007-09-28: 14:07
gajesio wow the first one is great !! :) add to my favs!!!
gajesio · 2007-09-28: 16:27
haushinka I subscribe all that's been said,its a pleasure to visit this great work,and to take some lessons for ourselves. The great advantage of art is to provoque feelings that change us,what you got here is the most superb art. Thank you!
haushinka · 2007-09-28: 17:03
magpy interesting set beautiful photos
magpy · 2007-09-28: 19:02
tarhema Conceptions of freedom#1.
I was happy from found a person how think about freedom.
Thank you so much your comment and attach of you to my pic.
tarhema · 2007-09-28: 21:22
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Views: 1172
Category: Beliefs
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