Are We Born to be Free
Marriage comes with a contract—vows—that is as unnatural as marriage itself. It goes against the natural order of life. It is an unnatural coupling between two people who are different in a major way. And it is the greatest agreement that never was. There is but one true relationship, and that is with your kin. Kinship is forever, it is the only relationship built to last. All others that are, or that may come to be are unnatural, and difficult to maintain, at best.
Marriage is the most personal and seems to be the hardest to hold together. It comes with its own remedy if it does not work out; a divorce. And coming in second would be on the job. Or any place where there are people and you feel you have to be there. For whatever the reason you think you must. If there were a list, it would be limitless. But, there is a good reason why a society needs these relationships. It all comes down to control.
Most humans as well as other animals, need their space and do not like to be controlled. It is the type of wild, if it could be called that, which is in all us. It is a strong part of self that makes us who we are; it is the core of how we came to be. We had to be different to be, just as we had to come in contact with each other and closer than some wanted to be. Does husband and wife in different beds come to mind here. Being close is more than just a factor in relationships, and it is not natural for long periods of time. You can start to get on each other’s nerves. And if you feel you don’t want to be there, and you feel you must you will compensate. And we know where this can lead.
There was a time in human history where consent had no standing and force was used as a means to an end. This was not just in personal relationships. It is done, even in this day in some measure in all walks of society. We have seats of power in all of our relationships, someone is always in charge. If not, there would be chaos and disorder. We would all be doing our own thing and going our own way. There could be no expectations, and there would not be much we could depend on.
Many of the ills of societies today as well as the past, is because we have to be near each other. When at times we would rather not. You want it your way and I want it mine. And the times are few when we want the same. I do it, you do it and nations do it. One could wonder, if one were so inclined, why is it this way, why can we not all just get along. We will never know why, but we do have to work with what is. This is the problem. We are not doing a good job living among each other. There is racism, sexism, ageism, religious differences and a host of other things that come between us. Now, this is what I do, I look to nature. There is one other thing that is central and at its core, someone has to be in charge.
There have to be leaders, followers and all that is in between for life to function as it should. As it is as well, we have one who owns the means of production and the other is the worker. It is as it is meant to be. What can and does cause a problem and disorder is when you have followers wanting to be leaders when they are not, and leaders that do not know how to lead. One is there by the order of their birth or lack of will and the other by force or their order of birth. This causes an unnatural balance that goes against nature. Of course some who follow begin to lead and work their way up. They had it in them all along. They were where they were only because of circumstance. Nothing is so small that it is not big enough to grow.
There are some who say, nothing ever changes, the way it is is the way it has always been. I say nothing is the way that it has always been. Not a thing that was made to change has remained the same. One thing that does not change is the roles of nature. The male and the female were given their roles for life by the Creator. He handed his greatest gift of life to us with trust. If we even think about going against the will of God, life will be no more. Where we are in the order of life can change, if change is what we want. The changes may be so small that it seems that there are no changes at all, but when milestones have been reached, you will know.
One thing we all should remember, with freedom comes responsibility. The freedom to speak comes with knowing when or not. The freedom to choose comes with knowing the choices. And the freedom to be you comes with knowing who you are.
Everyone wants it, but few know what to do with it when they get it. There are some who suffer from role confusion when they are no longer bound by society’s conventions. They want the role that has been reserved by nature for others, and turn their backs on their own. Some things can change; the nature of our existence will not change to the extent that roles will reverse. If so where would life go. We are created with certain attributes, both male and female alike. This is by nature and it was designed by God. It is the way he wanted it to be. And this is the way it shall be, or not a thing will be. None is as blind as the one who refuse to see. When you go against nature, you go against your best interest. You can only get to where you want to go from where you are. We have been cast in our role what we do now is act it out.
Are all things that are viewed as equal, equal? To be equal, what is it, you may ask. Is it more than a feeling? In some relationships, if not most, it is what it is thought to be, or not. What are the benchmarks? We think we know it when we see it. For many, it is a state of mind. It is what we see it as being. What it is, is fluid and open to change with a change in status. There is no agreed way to measure it. With that being so, equal many times is no more than what we feel it to be. It is a thought by those who feel they need it. If it is done to the extent that it is done, too much has been done. You cannot make what is outside of you what it is not just because it is what you think you want.
There is not a thing in life that we can say without a doubt, is equal to another. This is when looked at through the lens of equality. It is a goal that is out of reach because it does not exist beyond conception. Life was not designed to be that way. We cannot get it and we cannot give it. It is a power we do not have. Even when we mean well, it will not happen. Each thing is different from the other thing. No matter what they may have in common. No two are the same. And no two outcomes will be the same. All things are created one at a time. Each is its own. What determines what comes our way is most times by our own design. Not always, but what we do with what comes our way is, no matter the circumstance.
I say, be the best that you can be the only person that you can. And that is being who you were meant to be; that is you. The real you. Let no one tell you who you should be because you can answer to no one but you. It is not possible for anyone to know you the way you know you. So do not let them think they do.
Armed soldiers and military personnel were shouting orders but no one seem to be listening. They took no steps to stop the protestors/rioters. Their orders were to stand by, with weapons pointed downward. Even as the buildings continued to burn, in places a corridor of flames, they stood by. The heat was intense, only matched by the intensity of the expressions on the faces of the young, and old alike, who were carting off as much as they could carry. It was a free for all. Though there was no doubt in my mind that most of them were there because of their anger.
Dr. Martin Luther King had just been assassinated by the system in the form of James Earl Ray. You could expect no less than an outburst of hurt and pain. Oh the irony, when all the smoke cleared and the flames had been doused the guided as well as the misguided were left living among the ashes. The rage had given in to despair. Much of the Black low-income neighborhoods had been reduced to ruin.
Just a few months before his death, Dr. King and leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) held a meeting to plan and organize a Poor People’s Campaign for the coming spring in Washington, D.C. Organizers intended for the campaign to be a peaceful gathering of poor people from communities across the nation. They would march through the capital and visit various federal agencies in hopes of getting Congress to pass substantial anti-poverty legislation. They planned to stay until some action was taken.
The Poor People’s Campaign did not focus on just poor black people but addressed all poor people. As history records, before their plans could be realized, Dr. King was cut down by an assassin’s bullet. Although feeling the sorrow of his death, a decision was made to carry on with the campaign. On May 12, 1968, the first wave of demonstrators arrived in Washington. One week later, Resurrection City was built on the Washington Mall. This was a ramshackle settlement of tents and shacks to house the protesters. And as I learned firsthand, to call it housing is being generous, at best.
This time I decide I want to take a close look at the other side of the protest, though still up close, but more personal. I had to focus my mind to take in what my eyes were seeing. Some wandered about with a sort of dazed look as just waking up to a bad dream, while others seemed to seek solace and refuge in their primitive accommodations. It was clear, to me, that most were taking on the symptoms of defeat. It would not take much—under these conditions—to become demoralized. People were hungry; there was not much food. From the outside looking in it appeared to me that they were relying on donations as their sole source of food. And when there was food, it seemed they just did not have an orderly way of providing it to those who needed it most—the young and the old.
Nature had not been kind to the protesters, either. The skies had opened up and down loaded an overabundance of rain. There was mud all over and if you did not have boots, and most did not, you had to secure your shoes some place and do your moving about in bare feet. It was a mess. The mud seemed knee-deep in places. This was the heart of the “Poor Peoples” encampment. I went as I would go to many other places. I was just curious, not much more than that. But what I saw caused me to return.
It was, to put it simply, a hopeless situation no matter how well intended. The King had died. There was a leadership vacuum; it could not be overcome. The best that I could do was pick several out of the multitude to take to the base for a hot meal and a break from the drudgery of living in such inhospitable conditions. And in two short weeks, I would be discharged from the Air Force and out in the “real world” myself. How was I to know though, that Chicago would be my next destination where destiny would wave its unseen hand, again. I did not know if I was creating my own destiny or it was being laid out for me. Either way, I would be there to see it all. It was not a plan, it just happened. The 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago would be next, just in time for my birthday.