Are we really free?

Updated: Sep 16, 2020

21 days seemed like a lifetime when our President announced a nationwide lockdown from midnight on 26 March until midnight 16 April.

In that moment, we were unaware of the impact a lockdown will have on each of us, individually. Businesses owners and leadership scurried to ensure they complied with new lockdown regulations as they locked down their companies; families moved into planning mode; panic shopping was done by some; people fled their place of work to go home, to their families, and then - we entered our locked-down.

Little we may have known that an opportunity for transformation was handed to every single person with the announcement of our imminent lockdown.

The first week - it was all so new to us. Emotions filled us as time passed. Ambiguity was shared by all. A dark cloud of the possibility of our Country and our Globe’s economies plummeting, covered us and stayed with us.

13 days into our lockdown, a profound realisation dawned on me as I witnessed the Pink Supermoon this morning, 4h35. Covered in a warm blankie and with a cup of coffee in my hand, my majestic companion was our planet’s bright unwavering moon. I am truly blessed!

I contemplated the last 2 weeks. Thoughts about the duration to break down a bad habit, coinciding with our lockdown period, crossed my mind again. We are 2 weeks in, we all want our lockdown to be effective and would not want it to last longer than what is necessary. It seems that some of us have adjusted quite well to the lockdown regulations thus far.

Just over a week from now, the 21 days will be over and whatever awaits us thereafter, we will have to adjust to changing conditions again…

A lockdown, by nature, deprive humans from their freedom. Freedom to move freely to places they would normally visit, freedom of choice, freedom of socialising, freedom of physical contact. Freedom as we knew it – is no more.

Fast forward and our lockdown yielded the results required to beat the virus and save lives. We will be free, at last. But will we really be free? Will our freedom return when our lockdown is lifted?

I took a sip of coffee as the moon continued to invigorate me with its bright shimmer and my mind again gravitated to the powerful words of Victor Frankl, a holocaust survivor who spent 3 years in various concentration camps during WWII.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning

For the first time in my life, my soul fathomed these words – I understood these words beyond the cognitive. I felt entirely free that very moment. The irony of complete freedom while in a lockdown could not have made me smile more. Peace. Freedom.

Humans are capable of so much more we give ourselves credit for. It truly is possible to control one’s mind. Our brains invite us to do this daily by giving us new neurons for free, every single day. Those neurons have no will of their own, we can train them, we can show them which path to follow and what to become.

No matter where you are, how locked down you feel, whatever the circumstance. It truly is possible to be free within yourself regardless of your surroundings, regardless of where you find yourself, regardless of suffering, pain and disease.

One day, we will look back - my sincere hope is that we will all be able to bear witness to these words: “Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate”.

The freedom to choose your path, is within you.

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