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Freedom Matters

Not all of us old folks have forgotten the revolution some of us started fighting in the 60s. Look among the people of all the marches: civil rights, "me too," feminists, gay, lesbian, trans, the environment, animals, the right to choose, etc., and you will find us still fighting, still going to jail, and still caring passionately.

This movement for change is not new. It has been going on for many generations and in many other countries. The significant distinction between this time and all the others is the internet, social media, and cell phones.

Until the Vietnam war allowed us to be right there, every night, with the embedded journalists and soldiers, we at home had never really gotten to experience the horrors of war visually. Prior to that, unless you were fighting or unless you knew someone who came back injured or that didn’t return at all, war to Americans was a somewhat nebulous concept. It didn’t really affect us. It was easy for us to close our eyes to the actual atrocities that were taking place.

That has been true for most of the unfair and even brutal practices that continued to happen whether it was racism, anti-homosexual violence, wife beating, sexual assault, the destruction of the environment, or the mass slaughter of animals for ivory. It was happening somewhere else, not to us directly. It was easy to shake our heads and move on. But the world has turned, as Stephen King so often says, and those things can no longer be denied or ignored because daily we can see them in action. Cell phone cameras record the horror firsthand and then it is posted for everyone to experience.

We are getting the opportunity to witness what life is like for others by looking through their eyes, through the lens of a camera, at their experiences. Life and tragedy in America can no longer be denied. The cries of “fake news” can no longer be believed. These are real live witnesses sharing real life experiences.

Moving from the age of Pisces to the age of Aquarius has brought with it amazing new technologies which have also brought to us new responsibilities. Those responsibilities include being not only a witness to disturbing situations but deciding who you will be in this new world. Are you still just shaking your head and looking the other way, or do you choose to make your voice heard for change? Are you going to wait for others to change the world for us, or are you going to be an instrument of change? What do you believe about your fellow man, love, caring, compassion, freedom, unity, and responsibility, and how are you living up to those beliefs?

It is time for all of us to examine who we are and if our lives are reflecting our beliefs. If not, change. If they are, then be proud.


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