The Statue of Liberty was designed by Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence. The truth is, the statue was a celebration of the American people’s freedom; Lady Liberty is stepping forward. She is meant to be carrying the torch of liberty from the United States to the rest of the world. And that is exactly what she did.
The United States of America was the first to establish freedom, the first to sign anything like the Declaration of Independence, and the first to form a U.S. Constitution that was meant to protect the natural rights of men. The Statue of Liberty first became important to America because it represented the emancipation of African slaves.
Many of the remaining people have never actually been considered slaves but somehow have taken ownership of the slave mentality. It’s time for people to take responsibility for their freedom and let go of the slave mentality.
It seems that most people consider the word freedom to only pertain to physical slavery. Most people know the generic definition of freedom such as:
• The state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.
• The power to determine action without restraint.
• The power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without.
The truth is ANYTHING that is keeping someone from doing something they want to do, is limiting their freedom. There remains a lot of damage to both the minds of colored people even years after slavery. Racism still flourishes in society. Unfortunately, it is one of those predicaments African Americans have to face in their struggle. Things have changed and times are different, but many African Americans today are suffering from the after-effects of the struggle for justice. They are mentally lost in a time warp.
This mentality has spread like a virus and left many Americans, regardless of race, mentally crippled due to their behavioral choices and actions. People have developed the attitude, “They must do something for us, or else.” Many have decided to fold their arms, sit down, and watch: “See what they are going to do now!” This behavior indirectly amounted to surrender for some, and a life of dependency for others notwithstanding the success of many hard-working Americans. But it did not resolve the serious problems of our inability to develop and orchestrate effective strategies to solve social problems at the community levels. We became so entangled with the struggle that even when the struggle began to diminish we held on as if in a fight to keep it alive instead of embracing the opportunity to grab hold to freedom.
They say hypertension is killing the American people; a great deal of it is probably self-imposed. People tend to major on minors while real issues within their own “person” remain untouched. They refuse to look at their lives and realize that their current situation is a report card of yesterday’s choices.
A great deal of the solution is simpler than many want to believe. People must change their slave mentality to one of thinking they are free and capable of doing things for themselves, instead of carrying protest signs on their sleeves and in their minds. Many times people sabotage their own efforts due to inability to resolve their differences with other Americans. As a result there are more fights within than from other countries.
The Statue of Liberty is such a national treasure that it has been the focus of attacks by terrorists. On July 30, 1916, the Black Tom Explosion damaged the Statue of Liberty so heavily the torch was closed to tourists. In 1984, it was declared to be a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the statue was closed to tourists until August 3, 2004. When the statue was reopened, a flood of visitors began once again to climb the stairs to the top of the largest statue built since ancient times. In October 2012, Hurricane Sandy, left three-quarters of Liberty Island underwater and destroyed electrical, phone, water and sewage systems.
July 4 2013, the re-opening of Lady Liberty came with predictable patriotic fanfare, including a small marching band clad in Revolutionary War replica uniforms; members of Congress; Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell; and, of course, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Why? It’s all about the fight for and the security of our freedom.
Three things you should know about the fight for one’s freedom:
- It’s a fight for their perspective: Perspective is the way a person sees things unraveling in the world around them. It’s their perspective that governs their behavior; people are only as free as their perspective. With a simple shift in viewpoint people can radically change every experience they encounter. People can see opportunities or obstacles; possibilities or potential. Perspective is a simple, yet profound, internal resource that is often overlooked.
- It’s a fight for their creativity: Many have grown stale because nothing new is being generated they are just recycling their belief system, finances, and information. They never invest it so that they can increase their return. The world today and all of the “miracles” of technology currently experienced and enjoyed are a result of continuous creative innovation. It seems that there is often the belief that innovation is virtually instantaneous. Innovation is often predicated on some vast storehouse of creativity, experience or knowledge which provides that foundation for a new idea or concept. Instant success often takes years.
- It’s a fight for their story: Many have untapped potential that is not subject to those around them. Their story is one of the most precious and priceless things they own. Too often people don’t share their story because of shame or embarrassment. They are ashamed of the choices they’ve made or embarrassed about things that were thrust upon them. A person’s experiences are their story and all are important to the person they are. Never doubt the power of that story. A person’s story is what connects them to the world and is empowering for those around them and many they may never meet. That same story is healing and liberating. One should never relinquish the power of their story!
The Statue of Liberty stands on its own Liberty Island in New York Harbor. Her status as an American treasure cannot be questioned. Meant to be a centennial anniversary gift from France to the United States, the statue celebrates the release of liberty that started with the American Revolution. People must become the master of their freedom by taking responsibility in every way they can. Everyone deserves so much better, and the good news is that each person is truly in control. It’s time to grab the wheel and start driving! Pick up the torch, take your life off of autopilot and be proactive.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia Beach, VA)