Freedom N

Mr. Nelson Mandela: ‘There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires’ (an excerpt from his presidential address).

Bernice King, youngest daughter of Martin Luther King: ‘If each of us works toward making a sincere effort when we wake up each morning with a renewed commitment and dedication to embracing nonviolence as a lifestyle, this world will become a better place, bringing us ever closer to the Beloved Community of which my father so often spoke’.

What has given me a certain amount of freedom is not feeling guilty if and when I say no to a request, even if on the surface it’s a perfectly reasonable one. I find it hard to say no to a delicious looking slice of lemon meringue pie, and will find all sorts of justifications for saying yes. Last week I had my hair cut in Plettenberg Bay, and the salon owner offered me a slice, the pie delivered by a local baker of renown … who was I to say no? It was his birthday after all ..

My poor husband thinks the word no is just about the extent of my vocabulary.  It’s so short and sweet, such a complete sentence – so freeing!

There is much we can and need to say no to. And, not in my name. And, never again and never forget.

Notre Dame Cathedral – Our Lady of Paris – may she rise from the ashes –

James Iredell’s words in To The Inhabitants of Great Britain (1773): “The noblest of all causes [is] a struggle for freedom.”

Mari K: (freedom for me is) to make decisions that suit me and not because I am beholden to anyone –

Thank you for reading – I so appreciate your comments!


20 Comments on AtoZ Freedom N

  1. This quote from you does it for me, “not in my name. And, never again and never forget.” Americans took freedom for granted for many years, but we can no longer do that. Will the majority stand up and say “not in my name?” Will we dare to walk through the valley of the shadow of death for the sake of freedom? It scares me when I try to think too far ahead since I always hope for a peaceful Nonviolent way out of conflict. Thanks again, Susan.

    • Thanks Elaine – they’re strong words aren’t they – no, not in my name …and never again and never forget. I wonder what I personally would be prepared to sacrifice for my freedom. If it were my children’s freedom at stake this would definitely make my concern greater and actions too. We march and protest for them and for land and mother nature ,,

  2. You bring out the importance of the choice of ‘no’ as being honest. That level of honesty can be difficult…

  3. I’ll pick out the word “noble” as my N word for today. And I’ll hope, along with the world, that the Notre Dame will rise from the ashes. The French president says 5 years, but I think he may be optimist. Still, one can hope. Thank you, Susan, for taking on this A-Z freedom challenge.

    • Thanks Marian for coming by! I agree, noble is a lovely word (not that you said, but I’m paraphrasing). Much is noble in our world, as in striving for Freedom.

  4. I like N for Nelson Mandela’s quote and also Martin Luther’s daughter. Its not been easy for me to say NO but i have learnt it over a period of time and I am glad to say No when I want to… thanks for sharing:)

  5. “No” and “Notre Dame” seem to go hand in hand for me today, only my version of “nooooo!” was one born out of great sadness, shock and disbelief. Yes, may she rise from the ashes indeed! The fact that her integral structure has remained in tact is amazing and hopeful, relating deeply I feel to the presence of the Divine Feminine, above and below.

    Often I will ask clients to consider saying “no” more often, especially if they like to rescue others and/or are people pleasers, fearful of upsetting others. Alternatively, saying “yes” to others in particular those who avoid a lot of social interaction can be good too at work or at home. I could read Nelson Mandela’s wise words all day! Love and light, Deborah.

    • I also thought of Notre Dame and the Divine Feminine – her structure remains intact. There’s much to ponder on about this – somehow especially because it’s Holy Week …

      And saying yes, in so many areas of our lives – yes, to all that is good and beautiful and wondrous; yes, to the inner work and trusting in the process; yes, to our dreams; yes to believing in Freedom and never letting go of that hope – even though we may travel through the shadow of Death –

      Yes, to Love and Light Deborah …

  6. I’m not very good at saying “no,” but periodically I try. Standing up for a commitment is usually easy as long as I don’t over commit myself. But saying “no” to things that could be dangerous or harmful is easy as it is important to respect others, by standing up for ourselves and our beliefs. I miss Mr. Mandela. Thank you for your wise words.

    • Thanks Gwynn – we can also say yes. I think of some parents with their children who are always saying ‘no’ – without any explanation and allowing the child’s natural curiosity to come through – so it’s a balance I guess.

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