We celebrate the many freedoms that we enjoy in this country: the freedom to pursue happiness, the freedom of speech, the freedom to vote, the freedom to protest. Today, I’m being guided to talk about the freedom to evolve, inspired by Barack Obama’s recent words about youth activism at the Obama Foundation Summit. He made some key points about our “call-out culture”, which is fostered by social media outlets, of posting criticism and judgment of someone deemed bad or wrong in their actions or opinions and then feeling self-justified for making a difference.
Mr. Obama suggested that there is more to social activism than just shouting down the other guy with whom you disagree. He reminded his audience that “the world is messy; there are ambiguities” and advised that simply being judgmental doesn’t equal activism. He also pointed out that it doesn’t solve much or create true change.
In order to do that, we need to dig deeper within ourselves. Why have we become so afraid to acknowledge that we are all works in progress? Why are we not allowing ourselves to be living, growing, changing beings? Why has it become so challenging to see the many shades of gray instead of needing everything to be either black or white, right or wrong?
Social media has a great potential to open us up to alternative perspectives. It is a great way to really understand another person’s experiences and see through their eyes. It can be the great equalizer and community builder, if we choose to use it that way. But we must make that conscious choice, rather than just joining in without deeper thought beyond what things may look like on the surface.
The world is messy, and we are multi-layered beings with many aspects. As Mr. Obama pointed out, “People who do really good stuff have flaws. People who you are fighting may love their kids, and share certain things with you.” We all deserve the freedom to evolve, to develop new understandings and change our viewpoints and choices accordingly. We deserve the right to gain wisdom through our experiences without being criticized for not having that wisdom 5 years ago. We are all divine children who haven’t yet graduated from this world experience, who are still expanding our consciousness.
None of us arrive on this planet having figured it all out. In fact, none of us will leave this planet having figured it all out because the universe is constantly expanding, and there is always something more to explore and learn. Let’s each dig deeper and call upon our humility and compassion within to allow ourselves the full, unconditional freedom to evolve.
picture courtesy of https://pixabay.com/photos/leaf-tree-young-seedling-oak-3369412/