By M. R. Lewis
Much time and thought went into this opening sentence. It needed to be something that captured not only the attention of the reader, but perhaps most importantly, the imagination.
One may hope that an honest look into the mind of a fellow human being is enough to capture attention. An honest evaluation of oneself and the surrounding world is a rare occurrence. Therefore, one hopes that we are all inspired by the following act.
One may present the questions: “What is freedom?” and “Are we free?” If we believe that we are free people, then we must grab our shovels, pails and seeds. With our tools in hand, we ought to run to Grant Park, stretch the shovels above our heads, and with the almighty force of freedom stab Mother Nature in her bosom.
As you continue to dig, pay no attention to the men walking toward you with guns strapped to their hips and fear drawn on their faces. Pay no attention as they tell you to cease your digging. You are a free human being. The Earth and everything on it belongs to you just as much as it belongs to anyone else. As they escort you into the back of their cruiser, remember that you are free – or so you thought.
The truth is that we know not what real freedom is — we have been captives for too long. Until the day comes that we realize what freedom is, the condition will not get better. Real freedom is the cure to racism, poverty and all injustices. If we imagine a world where freedom rings from sea to shining sea, then we shall be free.
We imagine, and thus we create. Imagination is the spark that created electricity. It is the sail that transported men into the unknown. Imagination is the “BANG!” that slaughtered millions. Imagination is why we can never settle, because imagination knows no bounds.
So long as green springs out of the dirt, no human being should starve; so long as there are trees, no human being should be without shelter; so long as rivers roar, no human being should be deprived of water; so long as there are birds in the sky, no human being should be restrained; so long as there is a voice, no human being should be silenced; so long as there are stars in the sky, we human beings, and we will imagine.
When an idea meets imagination, the world is forever altered. The idea is that we human beings have the natural right to an equal share of our home. We must challenge the status quo. We must become impatient. We must stop waiting for the “promised land.” We must create our own salvation. We must fully understand the strength in numbers. We must place value on the only real currency: usefulness.
We must challenge each other to plant the first hole, to tear down the barriers, to march in the streets, to speak out against injustices and to speak up about our natural rights.
These ideas are not new. These are the ideas of countless organizations and activists before us. They are the ideas of Lennon, Gandhi, King, Baha’u’llah, Jesus of Nazareth, Socrates, Myrdal, Dellinger, Theresa and anyone else who has championed love, peace, freedom and equality among all human beings. These are the ideas of a mother who taught her son that we must learn from each other, or else we may never learn at all.
Let our ideas flow with the current. Let our voices move concrete. Let our soles move the ground beneath our feet. As we enter this new age of thinking marked by the artificial lighting of the world, let us imagine that we can achieve the freedom that human beings were intended to have. Let us come together and create a better world for every man, woman and child.
Free to live and to love. Can we imagine that?