Americans celebrate their freedom in many ways. After all, aren’t they the inventors of freedom? Not really. And we Americans have much to learn about freedom yet.
Freedom is often perceived as freedom from dictators, freedom to voice one’s opinions, freedom to select the best leaders and freedom from economic, racial, religious and gender bias.
Thich Nhat Hanh relates in his book The Art of Power that the ultimate form of power is freedom to choose peace, no matter the circumstances. He achieved this freedom during a time of war, when his country was at war with France and he observed war atrocities in his own village and family.
I think it is instructive to observe that he also learned freedom from bitterness, ignorance and hate.
Through my practice of commitment to life (book link), I have discovered and been blessed by these kind of freedoms. I am amazed to witness my own freedom of spirit. I stress less and breathe easier, like I have been let out of a cage. I am free of bitterness over what people do or have done to me. I am freeing myself from the ignorance that comes from denial. The hate, too, is gone.
In gratitude for this freedom, my commitment to life is strengthened and because of this new feeling, I recommend it to you.
We are overwhelmed with messages from our government and authority figures that our freedom depends on sacrifice, that it always has and always will. But the kind of freedom I’m talking about depends on commitment, commitment to life and only life.
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