“Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our mind.”
How often do we allow ourselves to think other people’s thoughts? How often do we repeat the headlines rather than reading through the text to understand the full extent of the issue? How often do we accept other people’s definitions of love or happiness?
Bob Marley was signing about slavery, but in a sense, the sentiment of the song applies to all of us. Too often we repeat other peoples views instead of creating our own original thoughts, that is mental slavery. When the highest rated television show is called Walking Dead and is about that real life phenomena we all have to worry about, Zombies, that is mental slavery. When we glibly repeat our Politian’s polarizing comments about kicking 30 million illegal immigrants out without thinking about the practical implications of how to do that, that is mental slavery. When we act violently and irrationally when a white police officer kills a black youth in Ferguson, yet ignore the death of a 4 year old black child accidently shot by a black gang member in Chicago’s south side. That is mental slavery.
When we expect more out of a relationship than we are prepared to put in, that is mental slavery. When we continue in a loveless marriage for the sake of the children, that is mental slavery.
We can only free ourselves from mental slavery when we think for ourselves, when we live our lives with intention. We can only free others from mental slavery when we "Love Them On Purpose", when we give love to them with out expectation, when we forgive without conditions. We can solve many of the problems we face which seem to be beyond our control by starting with ourselves. Ghandi did, Mother Theresa did, Martin Luther King Jr. did, the health care workers in Africa fighting Ebola did, why not you? Why not me?
Tonight, better still right now, write down one action you will take tomorrow to escape mental slavery. Some one you will thank, speak to, or tell them you love them, some one you have been meaning to reach out to but have not yet. Be honest and passionate, expect nothing in return. You will change how you feel about them and yourself. Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, commit yourself to this action. Your attitude about the day will improve and who knows the change you will cause in someone else’s life. Emancipate yourself.