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Freedom: Where The Mind Is Without Fear…

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I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Freedom: Where The Mind Is Without Fear…

Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls… Contd below

The poem, Where The Mind Is Without Fear, by Rabindranath Tagore, was written before India’s independence and shared his vision of what a new, independent and awakened nation would be.  The message of the poem is also applicable to our individual struggles for personal freedom and growth. When I read the poem today, it struck a chord and resonated deep inside; prompting loads of questions: As a writer/blogger, do you feel free to express all of your views? Do you feel stymied by public opinion or social decorum? Do you worry that your boss might be unhappy with your writings? Do you feel the weight of your family values and upbringing standing in the way? I ask these questions because there are times when I wonder why I changed my mind about a post or reluctantly avoided delving into an emotionally charged subject. I tell friends I don’t need the agida but I’m not sure that is the full story. There are times when friends say” Oh, you must blog about this, that and the other…” Worthy subjects, no less. But something stops our movement from conversation to topic creation. What stops us? What stops you? What’s with the self-censorship?

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Freedom: Where The Mind Is Without Fear… Conformity stifles…

Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way… Contd below

I’ve been mulling this over for a while because I know that what we choose to write and how we present it is up to us. Sure, we stand the chance of being sued for libel or harangued by trolls and such, but at the end of the day, isn’t the truth supposed to set us free? When I started this blog, I had visions of including a section called “A Place to Vent” but dropped the idea when I realized that I didn’t need all that negativity in a forum in order to have my voice or the voice of others heard… Yet, I am still torn by a nagging voice to delve deeper into subjects that matter to all of us. Freedom of expression is a golden gift in this part of the world and it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Granted,  sometimes we wonder whose version of the truth we are being fed by the mass media but it shouldn’t negate our right to speak truth to power… even with the possibility of censorship. So, What stops you? What’s with the self-censorship? More below!

“The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You trade in your sense for an act. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask. There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there’s a personal revolution, on an individual level. It’s got to happen inside first…” Jim Morrison

Freedom: Where The Mind Is Without Fear… the desert.

Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee: Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.  By Rabindranath Tagore

Whichever way we wish to consider this subject, we must remember that our collective voices contribute to creating history; a history that is representative of all of our experiences. We live in complex times with a cacophony of voices and interests competing for attention. If we wish to be heard, We must aim to write fearlessly and speak from the heart. Our authentic stories are waiting to be shared… But we have to be awake and ready to speak/write without fear. What about you? Stay Inspired! What are your thoughts? Are you scared of expressing your views freely? What is your attitude towards creative freedom? Do you look around and wonder what people would say if you wrote the ugly truth? Do you avoid tough conversations/blog posts for that reason? Do share! Thank you. 🙂

Positive Motivation Tip: Freedom of the mind and our creative impulse are tied closely together. We must be vigilant in protecting them..

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Tagore’s bed, Libyan Desert, via Wikipedia. And/Or Conformity  by Motor Browniano, via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

39 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/05/2012 1:27 am

    “Fear is poison for the spirit, however confidence is power.” – Blogoriginator

  2. 03/05/2012 1:29 am

    I don’t mind a bit of negative here and there but I understand the dilemma!

    • 03/05/2012 12:46 pm

      Same here… but the gift is knowing the right balance; when it is appropriate to be vocal and then to be silent… TY!

  3. 03/05/2012 2:52 am

    Freedom is having to do what you love and passionate about. It’s following your dreams and what makes us happy. It’s breaking away from worldly influence and simply following the innermost whispers of our heart and soul. Inspiring words my friend. And the pictures, just a vision of joy and optimism. Thank you.

    • 03/05/2012 12:47 pm

      TY Island T! I love your inspiring views and we need that too. 🙂

  4. 03/05/2012 7:47 am

    We grew up reciting that poem and I still get goose bumps when I read it! Neat post as always!

    • 03/05/2012 12:47 pm

      How fortunate… It is a beautiful poem and the first time I read it, it gave me pause too… I love it. TY! 🙂

  5. 03/05/2012 9:03 am

    I’m so glad you raised this question/position of expressing oneself and being beseiged by negativity–my clumsy paraphrase of what you’ve expressed so well! I question this all the time, Elizabeth. I think that every day offers new opportunities, and we somehow know when we are to act or speak up…when I either don’t have enough courage (which is sometimes!), or I don’t feel like my voice is effective for whatever reason, I find an organization or people who do it well…and I throw them my support. Your questions are so good! Debra

    • 03/05/2012 12:49 pm

      I love your suggestion of organizations that speak to things that matter to us… Yes, that is probably the most popular way to voice our concerns and care. TY! 🙂

  6. 03/05/2012 9:41 am

    What stops me is the fear that I might unleash some nasty part of myself that may never go away again 🙂
    Seriously I choose to work on my negativity in other ways I suppose!

    • 03/05/2012 10:55 am

      I hear you and some things are best kept private. The book of proverbs gave me a good one this morning that the man of wisdom speaks in measured tones but the fool in haste… Hmm mm TY! 🙂

  7. babs50nfab permalink
    03/05/2012 9:46 am

    I think you know I’m not afraid of speaking my mind. I think if it’s done in an honest way with no intention of hurting anyone, just speaking your truth, it’s a good thing. There’s a difference between being negative or hateful and being honest. It comes down to intent I believe.
    Good post!

    • 03/05/2012 10:57 am

      Well put and it takes wisdom and diplomacy to present the facts with good intent and be clear of harm… By the way, I have not been getting posts from you even though I have subscribed… Should I re-subscribe or is there another reason? TY! 🙂

    03/05/2012 10:34 am

    Many great words of wisdom are included in these truth. Thanks for sharing and may God keep lifting you higher and higher, and allow all truth to manifest themselves in your life and the lives of those he has placed in your pathway. May His grace and mercy reside in your space and time always.

    • 03/05/2012 10:49 am

      Thank you for your kind words and prayer… I send you prayers and blessings filled with same. Be blessed!

  9. 03/05/2012 11:56 am

    “Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
    Where the mind is led forward by thee: Into ever-widening thought and action
    Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.” I am taking these lines with me in my heart away from this post on the value of a mind free from fear!

    • 03/05/2012 12:08 pm

      TY Granbee for all your wonderful and thoughtful comments. I don’t know how you do it but I appreciate the effort and wisdom you share. Blessings! 🙂

  10. 03/05/2012 3:19 pm

    I don’t mind an open debate on about any topic. As far as photos, poems, and such, I sometimes don’t say much, unless it’s pleasant, and sometimes I will question a blog, if I’m confused with a point a poster is trying to make. However, when it comes to Politics, I can be very opinionated and usually my disgust with our (American) Government surges through, whether I intend for it too, or not. These days it is hard to be all sugar and creme when we have been infiltrated by traitors that would sell off our Nation for personal financial gain and power. I think we should be sharing important stories and news articles to keep everyone informed on what our ‘elite’ leaders are doing to our Nation. In all likelihood, my generation will only suffer mildly. However, children that haven’t even been born yet, are supposedly strapped with massive debts due to a Government that thinks we should control the world. I disagree and I don’t mind saying so. I can be down right belligerent in my opinions when certain topics surface. Monsanto is another topic that makes my blood boil. I guess I could side-step them, too. But burying our heads in the sand doesn’t help anyone. Sometimes we need to face the dragon, to slay it. I would love to live in a perfect world where roses have no thorns. Maybe one day if enough people stand together, and express themselves, and inform each other, together we can cultivate that rose bush (figuratively speaking, of course).

    • 03/05/2012 9:46 pm

      I hear you… I’d like to see that thorn-less rosebush grow… We need more compassion in our world and I remain optimistic that even with the challenges many face globally, man is inherently good and that goodness will prevail… TY for sharing! 🙂

  11. 03/05/2012 7:50 pm

    What a great post! This is on our minds all the time, don’t you think? At first, when I started blogging, I had no idea how powerful the written words would be – and not necessarily in a good way! I learned the hard way that there are lots of people out there who will disagree with your views but that was educational for me as well. But it’s always once bitten, twice shy, right? I may hesitate, but if I think it should be said, I’ll do it anyway.

    On the flip side, I never publish anything just because I think it will generate stats. My little niche of the blogging world just doesn’t fit in that sort of thing (although the autism positivity flash blog did work to generate quite a few hits). There are times when I schedule a post for publication that I wonder how many people will find me crazy, out of touch or just plain wrong. I’ve been called on a couple of subjects that I did not even know would generate controversy! Those ended up being quite popular. Who knew?

    It’s interesting to me to see that you hold back. I would never have guessed that of you. You always seem 1000% in control, inspiring all the rest of us!

    • 03/05/2012 9:49 pm

      It does happen that way; we think a post or a thought shared is run of the mill and then others run with it… We all hold back something. It is a rare human that operates without a filter of sorts. Some say more than others but we have filters and even masks… TY for sharing Karen! 🙂

  12. 03/05/2012 10:01 pm

    I have the skeletons of several posts that I can’t seem to settle down and write. A lot of it is soul-baring and I feel I’m not quite ready to be that vulnerable — but I’m getting close.
    Great post, as usual, Elizabeth.

    • 03/05/2012 10:26 pm

      I get what you’re saying and feel the same way too. TY! 🙂

  13. 04/05/2012 6:36 am

    “Do you look around and wonder what people would say if you wrote the ugly truth? Do you avoid tough conversations/blog posts for that reason?”

    Ummmmm – I don’t think so. But that is for the readers to decide, I suppose. There is one topic I don’t write about yet, maybe in time. At the moment it would be too painful for someone else, so I don’t go there. In time, when more healing has taken place, I will.

    • 17/08/2012 10:24 am

      Yes… you are vocal and have written passionately about immigration issues. I’m glad you admit that there is a subject you haven’t touched. We all have them. TY! 🙂

  14. 05/05/2012 4:41 am

    I have started to find my voice once again through blogging – it is a way to express myself. And if people disagree with what one writes, they can move on. At least there is no reason to keep our thoughts locked up inside of our heads.

    • 17/08/2012 10:21 am

      Blogging is a great medium for expressing our ideas but there are topics that are taboo to each of us. I bet you have yours… There are subjects we just never write about for a variety of reasons. Sure, when I post a piece, I stand by it otherwise I wouldn’t write it… TY! 🙂

  15. 06/05/2012 2:46 am

    I self-censor at times because I’m not always necessarily in agreement with myself 😀

    • 17/08/2012 10:19 am

      I think we all change our minds about things unless we have a super rigid personality type… I hear you and do same. 😉

  16. 14/05/2012 7:57 am

    I grew up in a family that encouraged me to conform. The more I was encouraged to conform, the more I didn’t conform. To this day I just can’t convince myself to be a conformist.

    • 17/08/2012 10:18 am

      Good for you… TY! I didn’t conform to all of my family expectations too… I’m still wondering about it though. 😆

  17. 15/05/2012 12:24 am

    Inwardly I often didn’t conform very well but tried to do it to a certain degree to keep the peace. I often felt the ‘odd’ one out because I didn’t conform enough. I always loved to talk to people who granted me ‘Freedom od Expression’. With my mother I hardly ever felt that I could express myself freely. With my father it was the opposite.

    If people ask me my views on certain sujects, I tell them what I think. Of course I’ll try to do some self-cenoring if I think what I want to say might hurt the other person.

    I find it sometimes difficult to pay attention to what I’m reading. I love to read things that grab my attention. I don’t expect people to always be in the mood to read what I’m writing. At times I don’t like myself what I’m writing. Often it depends on the mood I am in.

    • 15/05/2012 12:30 am

      Great observations… You are not alone in that train of thought. I think we all feel that way at different times and most of us choose to be diplomatic about our views. Not always easy. TY! 🙂

  18. 15/05/2012 3:04 am

    Very true, not always easy!

  19. 22/09/2012 12:15 pm

    Sometimes it’s cool to be uncool 🙂 I’ve just started blogging and this article will definitely give me strength to be bold and express my feelings without fear. Thank you for this amazing post!
    PS: I really loved the Jim Morrison quote! 🙂

    • 05/10/2012 5:47 pm

      TY for your comment and I’m glad I didn’t miss it… Go for it and honor your game plan. Lots of distractions and noise on the internet, but it helps to stay true to your blogging vision. 🙂

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