For what is freedom?

For what is freedom

Two oft used definitions paint two very different pictures. One says, “the power or right to act, speak or think as one wants”. And the other, “the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved”.

I say ‘different’ yet in some ways, I see them as competing definitions. If freedom is ONLY seen as the right or power to do things our way, then don’t we risk becoming enslaved to listening to self and surrounding ourselves with our very own choir? Those singing our song. And as we do this, we step away from robust conversation and accept a polite conditioning that separates people and ideas from one another. All in the name of one interpretation of respect and civility – the absence of discomfort and disagreement.

But what about creating a truly civil society? Perhaps in that kind of society, freedom can never be seen in isolation. Perhaps we need to add words like grace, honesty, compassion, understanding, compromise, listening, relationship, confusion, resilience…perhaps if all these words were joined to one another, we would enjoy a freedom that gave each of us what we need without making anyone else less. That is a freedom that would be worth fighting for.

About Kelley

Kelley is a speaker, author, overseas aid worker and perpetual student. She is passionate about women and gender issues, both in the local and international context, which underpins her enthusiasm for kinwomen and its contribution to women ‘living their finest life’. In 2014 Kelley completed a Masters in International and Community Development before establishing The Foxglove Project. Foxglove is a registered charity focused on supporting international development projects that are sustainable and driven by indigenous leadership. Kelley’s paid work requires her to travel extensively to evaluate and support projects supported by Australian funds. This experience and networking enables Foxglove to partner with outstanding overseas agencies delivering real opportunities for the poor and vulnerable to lead independent self-determined lives. Kelley combines these passions with a love of family and faith. Across more than 30 years of marriage, Kelley and her husband have worked through many of the challenges of building a relationship while raising three sons. Their boys have now finished high school changing the dynamics of family life and relationships. One of her great joys is sharing parenting lessons and learning from good and bad (sometimes disastrous) experiences. She uses humour and common sense to talk about the everyday challenges facing parents in today’s context.