Wednesday, February 27, 2008

TO WRITE: Freedom
I'm reading The End of America by Naomi Wolf, and it's scaring the heck out of me. Wolf's studies indicate that there are ten changes that occur in countries just before they move from a democracy to a fascist state, and that the U.S. is going through all ten right now. Sound alarmist? I thought it would too, but her evidence and her arguments seem very strong so far.

Especially after having lived for several months in the Soviet Union when I was a teen, I value my American freedoms tremendously. For example, we're allowed to say and write what we want, basically. But there are lots of other types of freedom I value too. How about the freedom of spending my life outside of the walls of a mental institution, except under extreme circumstances, when I want to be there anyway? (Granted, we have short forced hospitalizations for those deemed to be putting themselves or others at risk -- what's known as a "5150" here in California.) How about the freedom to decide on how I'll treat my depression? How about the freedom to pursue what I want to do with my time and resources?

Play with this. . .
Write continuously for 20 minutes starting with: "The freedoms I have. . ." You might describe your freedom to wear the clothes or hairstyle you want, the freedom to read what you want, or the freedom to explore the entire Internet, if you are in a country that allows those things. Or you might explain your feelings about a freedom you feel you lack.

Then consider how your freedoms affect your psychological life. Does thinking about them make your life feel a little less confined? How do your thoughts of freedom affect the emotions and thoughts you allow yourself to feel and share?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This exercise was helpful! Thanks! Lisa