Celebrating freedom from discrimination

Margit Cathrine Moller

The news last week was all about freedom. The Marriage Equality Act of New York is a freedom from discrimination. Some Canadians in Quebec protested the visit of the Prince William and wife Catherine as part of their struggle for freedom. Greece is fighting for freedom from debt, while people in Libya, Syria and other Middle Eastern and North African countries continue their fight for freedom in their own ways. Actress and advocate Demi Moore sent a moving and alarming report about the lost girls of Nepal as part of the CNN’s Freedom Project. Dominique Strauss-Kahn and his wife, the television journalist Anne Sinclair, were celebrating a weekend of freedom after the case filed against him was found to be weak.

To be free is the apex of all human journeys. And every time humanity reaches a new level of freedom, we celebrate it. That is the Canada Day or the Fourth of July in the US are big celebrations to remind us all of those who fought for freedom.

There is still so much to do in order for the whole humanity to be free of all forms of discrimination and slavery. Yet, despite the tasks at hand, we still celebrate. We celebrate because we have gone a long way in the fight to be free. We celebrate in honor of the people who gave their lives for the cause of freedom. But we also celebrate in order to remind ourselves that there is still so much to be done.

But there are a few things that we should always remember even as we fight and promote freedom in legal and social contexts.

1. Interior freedom – we need to free ourselves from our past. No matter how free the world is, if we have not freed ourselves from within, we continue to act like slaves. There are several “enslavements” that are carved in our body and in our memories which might dictate that way we view ourselves the world around us.

2. Freedom for the next generation – we need to teach our children the value of freedom. We teach our children importance of protecting our freedom. We teach our children that to be free to choose we must accept responsibility for our choices. To accept responsibility for our choices means we accept our current condition of life or we choose to change it. As we make our choices in pursuit of our dream; they should be taught that value of hard work and earning our freedom the right way. As we practice our freedom, we must also teach children that to be free is to treat our fellow human beings with Dignity, Respect and Fairness and demand that we be treated the same way.

3. We contribute in one or another in the struggle for freedom especially for the voiceless. Those who do not have the resources or the power to fight for their freedom. It might be as simple as the one seated next to you who continue to live in a relationship that stifles her; or it could be part of a global fight.