Sunday, March 18, 2018

Selective Freedom is Indistinguishable from Oppression

Can a nation be free if it oppresses other nations? It cannot.
 - Vladimir Lenin

Can a person be free if they oppress other persons?

Our heads are prisons that we can never be free of. If we foster hate towards others, we flood our prison with it. Whatever you fear, you are bound to become because it stews in your mind like an ever-repeating mantra, and soon it becomes all that you know.

If you go into a situation only seeking to defend your perspective, you are bound for a fight and armed as such. A man who carries a gun to a dispute is heading into a gunfight, regardless what the other side arms themselves with.

Sometimes, the only way out is through, but seeking hate, seeking fear, seeking to be unchanged at the end is not the way. You can't free yourself without setting others free as well.

I wrote several years ago of Neil Gaiman's defense of the freedom of speech.

It's an all or nothing matter.

So I'm trying to be compassionate, and be much assured that it's not easy for me. I am willing to admit my faults, my failures, and my missteps. But to be truly and completely compassionate, you must foster it for all, not selectively.

Have the people I've quoted down things that I'm not proud of? Yes.
Have I done things I'm not proud of? Absolutely.
Do I think that I can forgive myself without forgiving them?

Well, that's the question, isn't it? Is it all or nothing, or not?

I have no difficulty admitting that there's a darkness or a monster inside of me that I don't always have the fortune of keeping under control. I know it whispers to me, I know it tempts me. I know when I do its bidding, someone is bound to get hurt, and when someone is hurt at my hand, I am hurt.

I recently received a message that the message I'm trying to portray is conflicting with the advertisements that show up on my page. So I have removed them. If you want to advertise on my page, you have to go through me, not through a liaison or third party. I have enough difficulty sharing my words that perceived-internal dissent and dissonance cannot be allowed to get in the way, whether it does indeed exist... or not.

So I'm trying to foster something that I'm willing to flood my prison with, not just to feel puddling around my ankles, but to drown in. There's no half measures to it.