Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Freedom: Just Some People Talking
This was inspired by lyrics to the Johnny Cash song, "Desperado": "And freedom, oh freedom. Well that's just some people talking." When he sings that in his warbling, gravelly voice, Cash seems to me to be slaving away at the heart of humanity, attempting to uncover some nugget of truth. He seems to me to sing reluctantly, every note drawn forth with great pain from his soul. I gather from this that he knew what he was talking about. Nothing good ever comes easy, right?
So, freedom? Do we really want freedom? It's pretty clear that children and teens need rules, structure, actions and consequences. I doubt this changes much for adults. We like to pretend that freedom is something we want, probably a direct result of getting older and gaining independence. But why then do we try so hard to make plans? Why do we seek a solid future and make goals stepping so neatly towards them? Are we really, as Cash said, a bunch of Desperados? Do we deceive ourselves that we live unfettered, picking from amongst unlimited choices? Is this an illusion necessitated by our forced entry into adulthood? Don't we really yearn for meaning amid the chaos of choice? I think this is why we have horoscopes, fortune cookies, signs, and omens: our very last grasp at an omnipotent authority. "Well," we have the comfort of saying, "It was meant to be." Fate? Destiny? Freedom. Yup, just some people talking.