Freedom, the quintessential American value. Though deeply a part of our culture in the U.S., few folks spend much time thinking about it or talking about it very deeply.
We have gut level political views, and some sense of what it might personally feel like to be free in the moment, but we don’t talk about things like the difference between being free to vs. being free from.
We don’t talk about the differences between personal, political, and spiritual freedom.
We don’t talk about philosophical freedom vs any ordinary sense of freedom we have.
We don’t define it. What are the synonyms? What are the antonyms? We don’t define freedom’s absence or opposite.
We don’t talk about the history of it.
Freedom: a Personal History
(in Two Bullet points)
- Being a US citizen, and having a US passport has given me amazing freedom to travel and live and work abroad in Asia, Europe, and Central America.
- Having chronic low-grade depression has felt like the opposite of freedom.
…. Certainly not a complete history of my life, but things I connect to my sense of freedom.
This is a start. Let’s go bigger on freedom.
For now, what about art and music?
Bob Dylan wrote about freedom in many ways. One of the best Dylan songs by anyone, including Dylan himself, is Nina Simone’s I Shall Be Released. This song touches on something meaningful to do with freedom.
Here is the link from her official YouTube channel.
Nina Simone’s I Shall Be Released
And more from her,