To be truly honest, you can only speak from your own experiences, education and encounters. If you have not been socialized beyond the comforts of your own community and realities, how can you appreciate others? If you have not taken the opportunity to educate yourself about people, places and things beyond the comforts of your own community and realities, how can you educate others?
So my answer to these questions is summarized by two words, Consider Others.
Consider others is simple to do if you’re honest with yourself. How can you be truly free and inconsiderate? In the system of slavery throughout the world is not exclusively physical bondage, but can include psychological and spiritual too. Consideration, acceptance, inclusion, tolerance and civility are all avenues towards freedom.
I’ve titled this, “The Freest Person in America”, not as an attempt to speak exclusively to Americans, but just an indicator of my own experiences as an American. In fact one can simply strip the nationalization of the title and replace it with their own and the essence can still remain true.
It has been frequently suggested over the years in the much of the Black Community, but often unknown outside of the community that the ‘preacher’ is the freest Black person in America.
Coming from a family of ministers this statement made sense to me and offered an explanation to why I am prone to a certain manner of thinking. I’m no more than anyone else, but no less either.
The burden of ministry is not just the continual campaign to persuade people that they have the power to change, but the ability to go beyond their present circumstances. If you are to experience freedom, you must be willing to consider others as they are today.
Now getting back to what is meant by the statement. The minister is often the freest person in a community and/or country, because of various reasons. They have the authority of God, regardless of religious preferences, the authority that is accepted by the overwhelming majority of society, religious or not of the authority that comes with being a minister of God.
Although I find fault in this, but excluding the corrupt and the suspicion and mistrust provided by the corrupted who masquerade as ministers, the minister is the only one not beholden to the corruptible allure of money. The minister is allowed to speak to things that most are not willing or comfortable speaking about or towards. Unfortunately there are many who have sought after the allure of ministry and its power for the pursuit of this freedom instead of realizing that they have essentially already possessed it.
The arrogance of ignorance will continue to keep people from experience true freedom. I believe it was Abraham Lincoln that once said that “a nation can not exist half free and half slave”. I would like to remix that to say that you can never truly be free by enslaving yourself to your circumstances.
So as I cue up my music to leave this discussion, ask yourself to Free Your Mind and the rest will follow.