“I say to you that our goal is freedom, and I believe we are going to get there because however much she strays away from it, the goal of America is freedom.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Freedom seems easy enough to define—it is our ability to act, speak, and think without constraint. I have grown up in a country that is known as the “land of the free”. I daily recited the pledge “with liberty and justice for all”. Yet, freedom remained an elusive ideal that I grew up proclaiming. I struggled to understand the value of freedom. For me to understand freedom, I needed to see its antithesis. I needed to understand what freedom is not.
When I went to the Saharawi refugee camps I witnessed a people group that are not free to act, live, or speak without restraint. They were exiled from their homeland and live today with no return insight. The United Nations yearly delays their promise of a referendum.
I saw what it did to these people. I see what it continues to do.
I witnessed attack on their identity as Saharawi were told by their neighbors that even the goats have a place to live, yet they are without a home. I saw how they peacefully advocated for freedom for over 40 years and how it merely fell on deaf ears. This tormented me. If I truly believed freedom is a noble value, how could I turn a blind eye to those purposefully held without it?
At that moment I made a choice to embrace my freedom by advocating for the freedom of others held without it. I would choose to be a voice alongside the voices who are silenced. I have come to understand that freedom can be shared by advocacy. Advocacy means using our freedoms for the cause and sake of others without it. Even more than using our voices where others cannot, it is finding ways to empower those without a voice. I embrace my freedom by standing up for others without it. I joined the fight to spread freedom through advocacy.
Will you consider using the privilege of your freedom by becoming an advocate for the freedoms of others?
Post By: Micah Neely, January 15th, 2019