©2015 Kebba Buckley Button, MS, OM. World Rights Reserved.
Today is the ultimate freedom day.
Each July 4th, we in the USA celebrate our broadest freedom: the founding of our country, on the basis of people’s right to live as they choose. We rightly remind ourselves that, “[F]reedom isn’t free.” Hundreds of thousands fought and even gave their lives, here and abroad, to establish and keep the freedom this country enjoys. Most Americans want people to live entirely as they choose. Each American chooses how much to be the same as, or different from, other people.
In peace ministry, I saw a video scene that became indelibly imprinted in my mind. In a community ruled by the Taliban, girls at age 11 were expected to start wearing a light blue burka with an open-weave eye opening. One day, twenty girls looked at each other and asked, “[W]hat would happen if we took these off?” They took them off and joyfully ran down a hill, together, celebrating their humanity, not their sameness.
Riding a train one day, leaving New York City, I helped a woman with a beautiful baby, when we were asked to change cars. I had never before seen a baby with 6 perfect toes on each gorgeous little foot. My ideas of what is normal, same, and usual expanded that day. My mind was more free.
A priest friend of mine has a son, Christopher, who is 6 years old. Recently, she recounted this story, which I am using with her kind permission: “Christopher came home from his 2 nights at church camp raving about the ‘coolest man who was born with only one hand!’ The fact that he was born this way delighted him and clearly expanded his worldview immensely, because it hadn’t occurred to him this was a possibility before. We may get nervous when our kids stare at someone who looks different than them, but C made it clear that differences are marvelous, exciting, and inspiring. Children are curious about people and want to celebrate the uniqueness of others which then, I imagine, makes the other not quite so other. And I am pretty sure that’s what the world needs. Thanks, Christopher.”
This great vignette illustrates freedom from sameness, freedom from believing everyone is or should be the same. When we take delight in our originality and our differences, we are free. Celebrate your freedom, give thanks often, and let that lead your joy. And you will easily remember that we are In/Joy/Meant.
- Kebba Buckley Button is a stress management expert. She also has a natural healing practice and is an ordained minister. She is the author of the award-winning book, Discover The Secret Energized You (http://tinyurl.com/b44v3br), plus the 2013 book, Peace Within: Your Peaceful Inner Core, Second Edition. Her newest book is Sacred Meditation: Embracing the Divine. Both that book and Peace Within are available through her office. Just email email@example.com.
- For an appointment or to ask Kebba to speak for your group: firstname.lastname@example.org.