When I first thought of writing this piece I had initially thought of addressing the topic of Pap smear. After intensive deliberation however, I then decided to recoil from that subject and touch on something just as significant.
It dawned on me that we live in an age of freedom yet we fail to completely free our mentality of the past. Don't get me wrong, I am grateful for the Sharpeville incident, but, how much of the lessons learnt because of that event do we really incorporate into our lives? In this generation, we are mostly concerned with attaining material wealth and being better than our white counterparts or even our peers.
My real concern is what are the limitations of liberty and what is personal freedom to each and every one of us?
Most will reply to this question by mentioning the material possessions they have gathered throughout the years, what position they occupy or even name the company they work for.
Nevertheless, is this really enough? Is this what we live for daily? Is this what we have always wanted for ourselves?
Is material possessions and social status really a sign of freedom?
How many of us actually enjoy our own company? How many of us would still be the same vibrant people we are if all the material things were taken away? How many of us would still be sane if we had no job, no car, no house or even friends to satisfy our worldly whims?
Are we truly free or just merely acting to be free so that others would think we have it all?
Do we really have it all? And if we have it all, how come we need the constant approval of our peers? Do we engage in activities because it brings us fulfilment, or because it is what is expected from us, or so that our peerage and even our community can actually revere us? Is everything we do our own heart’s desire or are we doing it for the crowd?
If we claim to be doing it for ourselves, why then do we get upset if our peers do not celebrate with us when we upgrade our lives by buying a new house, latest car or even clothing? Because truly, if we are doing it for ourselves, it wouldn't matter if any other person did not notice our material accumulation.
We would actually rejoice, because then, we would not be gauged by our possessions but our personality! How many of us would actually pass the personality test, if we had nothing but ourselves? Would we feel complete now that the material possessions are not there? Would we still be as nice if it were all to disappear? Would the company we keep still be around if we had no material benefit to offer them?
We have become so absorbed in things that we do not add value to our characters at all.
Possessions are convenient, but it does not add value whatsoever to our character!
In fact, when some people are wealthier they tend to think they are better than others hence, they start mistreating people. Those who do not identify themselves by material possessions still find it quite easy to associate with a people of apparent lower classes and still not think they are better than them; in fact, they feel much better not having to be pretentious. People like this are so in tuned with their own being that they do not have to worry about the superficialities that plague many.
Even more so, they do not have to agree with everybody else just so that they fit in, they are perfectly happy with themselves. They are so in tune with their spiritual well being, that nothing could knock them off balance.
It is amazing to see how many people are easily influenced by people's opinions. Opinions, not even facts but by being in a place of contentment and complete awareness is the most important gift given to an individual at birth.
Through the power of choice, we are able to shape ourselves into the people we desire to be, and that person does not have to be shallow, or popular. In plain English, it means you are a people pleaser at the cost of your own happiness. Every choice we make is vital, because ultimately it shapes the real us. Whilst others might have found their true selves, how many of us can wear our identities proudly?
Let us go and find ourselves within ourselves, and not within others.
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