Rising to Freedom

I am re-running this little film because I know that on the first run few people had the patience to watch all two minutes. I sympathize with the cartoon character who represents us and I think the cartoon will help us consider the changes we desperately need before the consequences overwhelm us.

We are being destroyed as a nation and as individuals, but we can change the things that are destroying us.

Many supporters of the current president say they want him in power because he is like one of us. In the cartoon we see him bound by sins that we ourselves must confess, repent of, and forgive — before they destroy us.

It is possible to become better than this.

Let’s back-engineer this transformation.

Becoming free follows restitution.

Restitution

(fixing what was broken, restoring each other within the confines of the circumstances) follows forgiveness.

Forgiveness

(of both the other party and of yourself) follows repentance.

Repentance

(stopping what is wrong and starting what is good) follows confession.

Confession

(admitting the wrongs in your life and nation) follows becoming aware of wrongs.

Being aware of wrong

in ourselves personally and in the nation is the sense of a call to rise up and get free.

None of this is easy, but it is all possible and as a community we can help each other do it all. Though it starts with a personal decision, no one has to do these things single handedly. Currently there are many who do not believe in or sense in themselves any wrong except things and people who get in their way of self-gratification. Theirs is the hard step of waking up and becoming aware of wrongs such as are pictured in the cartoon.

But what is that FREEDOM at the top of the chart?

This is a freedom deep in the heart of all who take the steps, a freedom in the core of people who had been both the oppressed and the oppressors. This is a freedom to move on as people transformed to a new and better way of life.

The process is uncomfortable, sometimes excruciating, but it carries a promise of great reward. Think of all the examples we know already: childbirth followed by joy, the athlete’s pain followed by the gold medal, long hours working on a creation followed by the premiere or unveiling to grateful audiences. Such examples pale in comparison to that which awaits us at the outcome of this transformation.

The standard by which we recognize right and wrong

The standard for right and wrong is Love beyond ourselves, as scriptures say, to love God with your whole being and your neighbor as yourself. Jesus held these together as the basis for everything else. This universal law is one way we describe a new form in humanity’s evolution. Not to choose that way means spiraling down to extinction, but to choose that way is to spiral upward toward our ideal.

This is the essence of the ideal society. This is what makes us aware of wrong and wisely guides us through the steps of transformation sketched here.

Peace and Love will be the norm for those who choose these steps. It is not currently the norm for this world. It is always a matter of choice to pursue that new norm. Generosity, sufficiency, enjoyment, fulfillment, beauty, well-being — all that we believe should be in the ideal world, are possible as the new norm.

And it will not come as long as we pursue the items pictured as chains in the cartoon, as long as we claim things are “alright as is” and put off the uncomfortable change. Some, such as the national leadership, will need to relinquish their claim to places and power which they hold on to so tightly.

Pray for everyone on all sides to find and step into the place of their greatest good.

When we do this, we discover our true selves to whom we may never have been introduced.

2 Responses

    • markart

      Yes. I thought of that later and realized I simply listed six steps. But, really, it is about getting out of a condition of which addiction is a concentrated evidence. We would all do well to review the 12 steps and help each other as AA members do.

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