Monday, November 8, 2010

Do You Know How It Feels Like To Be Free?

"Only free men can negotiate;

prisoners cannot enter into contracts.

Your freedom and mine cannot be separated"

~ Nelson Mandela

“How can I set free anyone who doesn't have the guts to stand up alone and declare his own freedom?

I think it's a lie – people claim they want to be free – everybody insists that freedom is what they want the most, the most sacred and precious thing a man can possess.

But that's bullshit! People are terrified to be set free – they hold on to their chains.

They fight anyone who tries to break those chains. It's their security…

How can they expect me or anyone else to set them free if they don't really want to be free?”

~ Jim Morrison

"What do we mean by setting a man free?

You cannot free a man who dwells in a desert and is an unfeeling brute

There is no liberty except the liberty of some one making his way towards something

Such a man can be set free if you will teach him the meaning of thirst, and how to trace a path to a well

Only then will he embark upon a course of action that will not be without significance

You could not liberate a stone if there were no law of gravity - for where will the stone go, once it is quarried?”

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery

To different people, freedom carries different meanings. Like success and marriage, getting one is easier but managing one is difficult because we tend to start with a wrong foot, wrong reason, which most of the time, is badly reasoned and hardly justified. As a result, we linger in it (success or marriage) for namesake, drifting from high to low points in life, feeling numb; hopeless; careless; and don't-care-less.

Having seen the deplorable living condition for some Malaysians in Batu Sapi recently - thanks to the buy-buy-election - it hurts me deep inside. Unlike their forefathers that fought the battle to bring them where they are now, it seems to me that these people are in worse situation compared to to their forefathers because they have almost lost the spirit to fight for dignity and better life. These are the people who have been denied freedom and they have succumbed to much-hyped myths that their lives depend on the ruling party. Like us all of us, their destiny lies in their own hand. But with continuous oppression and artificially-created miseries imposed on them, it is so easy to surrender.

So,would that be alright for us not to do anything about it since they have accepted their current destiny? If we are a living, breathing human being, who would have felt their miseries (cubit peha kiri, peha kanan terasa sakit), we would do something for them.

And that is why I think the best people to really move these people out of their self-chained destiny is the local people. Instead of just hyping up on sensational issues (sometimes, reading their takes makes me feel like reading UK's tabloids - well, now you know why we are also catching up in printing tabloids, that is to feed people with things to talk about so they could forget their own miseries and later, to confuse them), they should focus on their own people and highlight the issues with proper channel. For once, we should get our act together and get things moving instead of relying on buy/general election to punish the short-term amnesiac politicians.

Some of us would have known how it feels like being free - it's ecstasy; it pushes us to only greater height; and it only makes us more humane.

And that is why The Lighthouse Family's "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" would be a fitting song for this post. Freedom, like love, is best shared and it is best shared with full morality.

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