"Freedom is an energy force that can never be constrained in an open mind and a joyous heart. It can be present in the silence of inner secrecy or in an act of outright rebellion. It is always best seen in the unconscious expression of a contented child at play with nature and at peace with self.
Children possess the ultimate freedom until the adult world seizes it from them and seeks to make them conform to parental will and thought. Like a caged bird of youth they are accepting of all, but flight into fields of fun is what they long for. Children are by nature of their untainted souls, pure at heart. They walk where their hearts lead them and where their imagination beckons without restriction or burden. Once they taste first freedom outside the reins of their parents, they relish it and want more. Once the thought of liberty is understood by them, it takes root and becomes a plant of rapid growth. Cut off that growth and the plant will simply grow stronger and become more resistant to external pressures.
If we are good parents, we will recognise that there is no freedom without the right to make mistakes. We will teach our children to think for themselves and if in doubt, ask for evidence and justification. We will tell them freedom lies in being bold and is more enjoyable when you are easy in your harness and can appreciate the responsibility that freedom is attached to.
It is both sad and ironic that our children have to grow up in a world today that is less tolerant to the beliefs and customs of others than it ever was in my youth. They see some peoples of foreign lands demand freedom while others in more privileged positions seem bent on denying it beyond kith and kin. If I could teach children one line of poetry it would be from James Russell Lowell's work entitled 'Stanzas on Freedom'. Lowell was a 19th century American romantic poet who was one of the first Americans to rival the popular British poets at the time: 'True freedom is to share all the chains our brothers wear.' Like the great Nelson Mandela who lived in the following century, Lowell also believed that while one person is denied the right to live free, we are all obliged to become outlaws to their cause.
I would also acquaint our children with the advantages of denial and show them the ways of the Buddhist belief. Buddhists essentially preach that all civilisation needs to free itself from the shackles of consumerism before they can find liberty of mind and the path of purpose.
I always taught my children that only when they have lost themselves in the goodness of the world will they find self, and only after they've discovered who they truly are, only then shall they be free." William Forde: October 14th, 2015.