In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, I would like to dwell on the meaning of freedom and the interpretation of it that makes perfect sense to me. I have no intention of codifying what MLK meant by it or tried to achieve with the long battle that was fought in the mid century, which continues until this day in 2015. That merits it’s own analysis, which I do not wish to get into with this post.
The meaning of freedom is not easily defined. What freedom means to me is: To Be, To Think, To Aspire, To Travel, To Discover, To Evolve.
There are certain experiences in our lives that leave us completely fresh, energized, and rejuvenated. To me this normally happens when I am able to travel and discover and just BE! The last experience that left me completely like this, as I mentioned in an earlier post was my travel to Brazil. The mere ability to be in this city full of sex, samba and sun I was able feed off the energy of those around me.
The beach was full of passionate souls who were not only enjoying the beauty of the landscape, but the beauty of their friends around them, with coconut water or better yet, sugar infused caipirinhas.
Music was a constant in all the spaces you entered. Whether it was a coffee shop, a club or high end restaurant, such as Sushi Leblon, the ambiance was just right to jive and get in the mood.
The meaning of freedom is also to be with the people who are around you and enjoy the rich experiences that come with it.
Having lived abroad for six years, I was able to make lifelong friendships with new human beings, who became dear to me. However, the sacrifice of leaving childhood friends and family behind is a reality of expatriation. The pure joy of building memories with dear friends, as we got up at 6 o’clock in the morning to follow a Brazilian New Year ritual after spending the whole night dancing at the exquisite Copacabana palace, was really what my soul needed.
Freedom can mean different things to different people. I wish not to downplay the fact that many individuals in this world do not enjoy the basic freedoms that human beings need in order to live a secure life. I do not take it for granted that freedom to me is to be able to think, aspire and travel. There are basic resources that one needs, in order to enjoy a higher sense of freedom. Having had the opportunity to travel, discover, sit down and talk on my last day in Rio with my friend about the deep meaning of life and make better sense of my life, I was able to come back with a sense of motivation to conquer difficult challenges, but more importantly a creative energy to cultivate experiences that would be more meaningful to me, than destructive. In fact, I hope to find the courage one day to reveal the details of that conversation. I’m sure it will come.
On that note, I would like to end with another Marin Luther King Jr. quote: