I just got done reading the book FREEDOM by Franzen, who was featured as a cover story by TIME magazine. The book was a #1 bestseller for a few weeks; but, I am not recommending it, unless you enjoy pain. Rather, let me give you the wonderful pearl in it, or, the “pony under the pile.” FREEDOM, much like Zola’s JOY OF LIVING, chronicles a lot of self-inflicted suffering as the author follows several characters who, like we all do, have trouble in their close relationships. Both books drone on and on about the details of their troubled lives. It is only at the end that both books redeem themselves.
FREEDOM is about forgiving our loved ones.
And that is how we may be finally free, free to love and live peacefully, in the company of those who no doubt will also need to forgive us if they themselves wish to be free.
Forgiveness is what I am most thankful for in this special time of THANKSGIVING. My favorite holiday also ties into all the other holidays: we are also thankful for the 4th of July as we celebrate political freedom, which has been earned by our soldiers (Veterans Day) and the sweat of our forefathers’ work (Labor/Memorial Day.)
Yet, it is Christmas that celebrates true FREEDOM the best: the freedom to forgive ourselves and each other and live forward, not backward. By Christmas I mean ALL philosophies and religious/spiritual traditions that teach us how to be truly free from a materialistic world full of ego, dogma and illusions. None of them count, unless we are truly FREE to choose, unencumbered by unquestioned traditions and cultures. Wisdom and spiritual guidance may help us retain what is good and discard what is not from our environments.
May you have a Merry Christmas and a future of forgiving and FREEDOM.