Freedom Day 2020, what does it mean?
Today is Freedom day, as a public holiday this year it is just another day at home for those who are not essential workers. What difference does it make?
COVID-19 has taken away a lot of our freedom and today it doesn’t feel much like we are free.
The word freedom means many things for many people. It has 2 definitions in the dictionary.
The first definition of freedom is: – the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants
We no longer have the right to act as we want, we are required to think differently to previous years.
We can’t just go about our business as usual. The many citizens of our country that are not working aren’t free to go to the store for food, there is no money.
We aren’t free to visit friends and family.
What you are free to do is, think about others; reconnect with your loved ones in different ways. You are free to learn a new skill online, to get a new perspective on life and develop new and positive habits to carry into the future.
The second definition of freedom is: – the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
We are ‘imprisoned’ in our homes, at least those of us with a home. We are imprisoned with our families and the only ‘escape’ is to go to the shops, if you have the money and the means.
You could choose to ‘escape’ to your bedroom that is if you don’t share a one room shack with 6 others.
Our children are not free to go to school, despite the fact that education is a right of all citizens. Some children are lucky to have online school and will therefore not fall behind, while others don’t have access to unlimited internet or even a computer for Skype classes.
On this Freedom day a lot of people are feeling both imprisoned and without power to act as one wants.
Today we have the freedom to choose how we will react to our circumstances.
The presidents speech
President Ramaphosa’s Freedom day speech was heartfelt and relevant to what is happening in this country.
He greeted us all in the 11 official languages of our country. He reminded us of where we came from and that we are still growing, he reiterated that Freedom day is not just about being able to vote, but about equality for all South Africans, irrespective of our individual circumstances.
He reminded us that the Freedom Charter and our South African constitution start with the words ‘We the people’.
This is a reminder to us that the future of our country is dependent on us. “We the people” have the power to affect the destiny of both our personal lives and the country as whole.
How we come out of this pandemic, is up to not only our leadership, who have so far proven to be truly impressive, but also up to us and how we deal with this terrible virus now and in the coming weeks and months ahead.
The freedoms that we are going to be given in level 4 must be observed and not abused. Our choices and our behaviours impact our entire country, our cities, our neighbourhoods, our friends, our parents, and our families.
Right now each of us has the freedom to choose whether Covid-19 destroys us or makes us stronger.
So much has changed since I wrote this article https://kasheringyourlife.co.za/freedom-what-price/ and yet so much has stayed the same.
“Solidarity and triumph of the human spirit in challenging times”, this is the theme for this year’s Freedom Day. How will you fulfill your role?