Freedom day is upon us and ironically we’re all working remotely, limited in our movements outside of home. It is a sobering thought – that as we celebrate the triumph of democracy we do so ‘stuck’, forced to celebrate in our own little ways, with those who share our homes.
But our ironic and necessary lack of freedom this Freedom Day needn’t spoil the occasion. It gives us a fresh lens through which to view freedom and count our privileges. It is in this spirit that we at HKLM Connect share what freedom means to us. Here are the words of some of the lovely people who share our collective love for brands, on freedom, in all its simplicity and paradoxical intricacies.
The freedom to be unique
“Freedom is the right to live openly and express your truest self, without restrictions or persecution.” – Ruan
“Freedom means having the right to be your authentic self, living life by your own design. Expressing your full potential and entirety as an individual.” – Lerato
“Freedom to me means to be free to be me. The world and society puts so many expectations on us to be like this or like that, it is liberating when I can just be who I want to be, as long as it is a good me.” – Catherine
“Freedom means being able to express myself and being able to embrace who I truly am. Freedom means not letting people or other forces dictate to me how I should live my life.” – Pleasure
“To me, freedom is the right to your own expression of identity and culture. Having the privilege to exist comfortably in a space where you can be who you truly are. Having others embrace you and recognise your ethnicity and cultural traditions.” – Mei
The freedom to explore
“The lock down has reminded me how privileged we all are to have the freedom of movement we have. The freedom to go anywhere we want without the geographic and time-of-day restrictions that existed for great swaths of our population in recent memory.” – Jonathan
“The ability to hike, be in nature and explore naturalness. Being accepted as who you are and accepting of others as they are – practising unyielding compassion for one another. Freedom is having a cup of coffee with a friend in a café, a brunch catch-up and laughing wholeheartedly. Reading a book for hours and being transported to a different world.” – Kirsten
“Naturally miss the human contact big time – the simple act of engaging people at every level – in the office, clients and business partners, the smiling cashier at a retail till, the guy at the traffic lights who banters with you while he hustles – the South African energy and vibrancy is embedded in our DNA and we are poorer without the diverse human contact! In addition to this, the simple freedom of movement around exercise and space – the power of an early morning run or the simple freedom of riding my bike on an outdoor trail – fresh air, nature and that all important sense of invigoration. Both, things that we take so for granted and are so crucial to our mental, emotional and physical well-being!!” – Sean
“Freedom is what enables me to be/experience outside, what I feel inside. Feeling the grass between your toes anywhere in the world rather than just imagining it; Learning that new skill I admire rather than envy someone else for practising it; Petting every puppy I see.” – Janeke
The freedom to reflect
“Freedom day is a public holiday held every year to commemorate 27 April 1994, when the first democratic general election was held in the country. This election marked the end of the Apartheid Era where the National Party government was replaced by the government of the African National Congress, and Nelson Mandela became president. Freedom day is a time to reflect on the bitter history and wrongs of the past, but to celebrate just how far we’ve come as a nation in building bridges to a better future for all.” – Ortise
“Freedom to me is the ability to live in our incredible country that embraces diversity and freedom of speech.” – Gary
The freedom to thrive
“To me freedom means having the ability to live my life and make decisions in every area of it however way I see fit and being responsible for all consequences or benefits. It also means respecting other people’s opinions but also not having to agree to them.” – Sibongile
“Freedom to me is the unseen power to self-achieve without limitations regardless of the born circumstances.” – Sasha
“Freedom to me means having access to a fair start in life; to have access to good quality education and to have the means to build a career and a life that you love.” – Jessica
Freedom exists in so many forms and while it differs for each person, it’s unanimous that the freedom of movement we take for granted daily is something that should be universal. So as we celebrate in our homes thinking of what we could be doing instead, let’s take a moment to reflect on how far we’ve come, that it took nationwide confinement to grasp the magnitude of our societal evolution.