The word “freedom” is a loaded term. In America, it evokes images of everything from the first day of summer vacation to the slaves being freed after the Civil War, and everything in between.
Since you and I have never lived under the helpless, hopeless, demeaning, overwhelming burden of slavery, we might not ever truly appreciate the experience of exquisite, life-giving, unhindered freedom. I would like to share with you a taste of what it meant to one who knew it first-hand.
A few weeks ago, researching the song All NIght, All Day for the upcoming book & CD, America, I happened upon an account of Josiah Hanson, a slave from the day he was born in 1789, until his escape to Canada in 1830. There was a vivid description of slavery—the real kind, being owned by some other person—which not only inflicted tremendous damage on this young man but continued to hinder him after he escaped to freedom. His words indicate that, as an older man, he became more and more aware of the mountainous obstacles he faced through the lack of an education. (To read his story, click here.)
It made me think of a quote from Lois LeBar's classic, Education That Is Christian, words spoken by Daniel L. Marsh, president of Boston University in the early 1900s.
"Education should make us live life with zest, with gusto, with exuberance.
But so much that passes for education takes away the wonder of life, and
puts us in deadly peril of things named and classified. So much that
passes for education is only the smoke of a futile fire. . ."
That is true freedom, friends! Not enslaved by what "passes for education," we can, instead, be prepared through learning to thrive in whatever careers and service we find.
Today, I choose to walk in the amazing freedom of a life filled with zest, gusto and exuberance. How about you?