Forged from the Love of Liberty

By the direction of the hand that guides, I’ve focussed on the theme of freedom this month. The journey began with a celebration of emancipation, marking yet another anniversary of our exodus out of bondage.

That journey has been exploratory and revelatory –

  • we explored the theme of freedom – the first step in appreciating freedom is recognising what it represents.
  • the freedom in service – recognising the love, joy and peace wrapped up in service and, for that, the freedom that service yields.
  • freedom = life: remember the song we sang as the hills came alive with that sound of music, the music produced by freedom?
  • choice and truth: in freedom, there are many choices we must make. We were reminded of Neo’s choice of the blue or red pill in The Matrix. The choice we make can lead to truth, or destine us to darkness. I challenged you to choose, as Neo did, the ‘red pill’.

This week’s piece, though, isn’t meant to be a recap of what’s gone before. Rather, it’s meant to show that it’s been a process of weaving a beautiful tapestry in freedom towards independence. Or, should I say, in dependence?

Freedom does promise us some separation from the things that bind, doesn’t it. Freedom can remove us from the community (be it physically or psychologically) and take us along a journey that is personal and unique. Freedom allows us to grow into who we are meant to be – to find our purpose. In that freedom, in that independence, we learn our strength, our threshold for risk (as is unique to our personal experience, and not defined by others), our courage and our resilience. In that independence, we learn that as challenging as the state of independence is, there really is no turning back…there is no return to bondage.

Let me tickle your thoughts a bit, though, as I say, freedom, as much as it can separate, reveals to us that we cannot avoid being in dependance. What’s my point? Stay with me here…there is no state of liberty that leads us so far away from community that we are not regularly reminded of our state of being in dependence on others.

Let’s take the example of the current pandemic: the ability of any individual to move around independently, is strongly dependent on the community to act responsibly. As the community acts responsibly, it strengthens the independence of the individual. Even when we consider the acquisition of vaccines, nations, including my twin-island republic of Trinidad & Tobago, independent nation though we may be, has been in dependence on the willingness of other nations to release vaccines and yet others to assist in the procurement process.

So, again, I say: independence, or in dependence?

Honestly, my choice is both: independence and in dependence. As I was recently reminded: none of us can do it alone. No matter our stage in life, no matter our physical comforts, no matter our financial wherewithal, we are in a state of dependence on some one, or something.

So, as my nation celebrates its 59th anniversary of independence, I join with my national community in saying:

Side by side we stand, islands of the blue Caribbean Sea: here every creed and race find an equal place, and may God bless our nation!

I stand in dependence with you in love, peace and joy!

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