Proverbial Friday – Freedom

Freedom is a need. I have a cat. People feed this cat; they pet this cat; they give the cat everything he needs. But every time the window is open just a little, he runs away.

~Dalai Lama

Freedom is a fundamental need for humans; and controversial in terms of geopolitical refugee issues. We might ask ourselves why people are running away from their homeland; why they are so terribly unhappy in camps/detention: why they don’t return home; why they want to don’t want to change their way of life/traditions or even their attitudes – part of the answer to this, is freedom. Freedom of choice.

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It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.

~ Unknown Proverb

How often do we lament about our own country’s regulations preventing us from actioning something we want to do? Bureaucracy sets us more and more rules and society exacts unwritten ones.

woman using space gray iphone x
Photo by on

Emerging nanny states ignore the need for personal freedom and decision-making.  Machines and technology perform routine or repetitive tasks that eliminate the need for us to think, to choose, to do. They even decide for us how many steps we should take each day, the routes we drive, they eliminate the need to remember facts, as Google knows all. Is technology in a sense, preventing  physical freedom whilst giving us a kind of intellectual freedom. Many folk today are addicted to checking email, notifications and their phones, and do not allocate time to just be, to self- reflect, to enjoy the liberty of a human on this planet.

If you want to be free, there is but one way; it is to guarantee an equally full measure of liberty to all your neighbours. There is no other.

~Carl Schurz (German revolutionary and American Statesman)


Picasso’s quote hints at liberty in a metaphorical sense. How do you interpret it?

“Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot, others transform a yellow spot into the sun.”

~ Pablo Picasso

Proverbial Friday

Several years ago, I created ‘Proverbial Friday’ on my blog.

I became fascinated with traditional proverbs and sayings, their metaphorical layers and the many different interpretations found within just a few, succinct words. I marveled at their ability to transcend race, religion, opinions and age.

Mostly anonymous, proverbs are a portal through time to generations past and echo a diverse range of cultures.

They speak of the experiences of many lessons learned and the wisdom from thousands of lives already lived.

They offer us knowledge; knowledge that is passed to us in much the same way relay runners might pass a baton. Once it’s handed over, it is up to us what we do with it and how we pass it on.

Join in the discussion by leaving a comment below. Everyone’s opinion is important. What is yours?

Proverbial Friday – always Something to Ponder About


11 thoughts on “Proverbial Friday – Freedom”

  1. Most of us can’t imagine how bad life must be for people to take their families and walk, swim, boat or any other trek away from their home. I wish we were allowed to open our home to someone seeking freedom.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. That is good to hear that you would be happy to open your home to a Syrian family, Peggy! It seems completely inhumane to subject people to prison like conditions, when they just want a chance to have a life. Why is one person’s freedom more important than another’s? (to paraphrase Karen Blixen)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. If you heard Ben Quilty’s interview on the ABC’s Conversations, you’d know that Syrians just want to go home. How I wish I could protect a family or two until that is possible.


  3. Freedom is a precarious thought. It isn’t free. We must give up safety to be free. To take the chance that someone not the same might bring us harm but be open to their uniqueness and allow that is more freeing than everything being controlled. You have a good handle on this in the quote by Carl Shurtz. We can’t run from our oppressors. We must disable their ability to oppress. I’m choosing my words carefully here. Gandhi did it with peaceful sit ins as did Dr. ML King. When we resist control and don’t try to counter control. we are free. It’s mostly being free in your mind anyway. I’ve had to give this a lot of thought lately do to what is going on in my own country. The masses are ready to give up their freedom for safety. It’s too costly for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The short term gain ( or perception of short term gain), is often what is most attractive to people. Aren’t we always being told to live in the moment, be present, in the NOW. They are living for the very near future, and cannot see the long term implications and costs to their freedom. I had in mind modern politics when I formulated this post, and I was also somewhat careful in choosing my words. There is a lot of angst, and hate out there. Blogging is so far a bit removed from the social media frenzies. Gandhi was a pacifist and succeeded in that, maintaining relevance and effective in the political arena. Indeed, his legacy has continued for decades and no doubt will continue for many more. But in choosing freedom, we do take risks. What a price freedom costs, yet it is an expectation that we all have it. It should cost nothing, but does often cost us dearly, in personal terms. Disabling oppressors, sounds like a universal answer, but in doing so, we deny them their freedom, however abhorrent their sense of freedom is!! What a quandary. How can we clarify that?

      Liked by 1 person

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