Early morning walks at the Historical Martin Luther King Center is an experience that most do not have the privilege. This day is cool, slightly breezy with an overcast. It’s beautiful out here. I can feel the cool air caressing my skin making me feel alive. I am taking deep breaths, clearing my mind, and rejuvenating my body. I can feel my body increasing with life and energy. My mind is thinking of new opportunities.
However, as I continued to walk and look at the different plaques that spelled out famous quotes and historical information about Dr. King, I began to think “What is freedom?”. I thought about some of the many definitions of freedom from the past and the present. But I could not kick the thought of what freedom meant to me at this period of my life.
Transparency is something that I have had and still continue to struggle with in my life. Never really felt anyone could fix any part of my life other than myself. I even went through a period in my life when I questioned if God really cared enough to guide me through. So I often ask myself is “freedom” when you have gotten everything right? Is “freedom” when all the mixed up missing pieces have fallen in place? Is “freedom” when all your love ones have finally gotten it right and you do not have to worry and cry as much? None of these could possibly be the answer because if it was…we would all be in bondage.
This move has allowed me the opportunity to experience history every day. Not just the history of the past but the opportunity to make history in the present. A history that no matter my current situations I will make a difference in someone’s life even if it is not the ones I thought I would make the biggest impact on. So often we feel the greatest impact should be on those that we are closest to. Those that we have given the most attention and support to. But I am learning that “freedom” means more than any of the things I mentioned. I will not attempt to define freedom for anyone but I do know that I must stand for something in this life and each day that I am working toward that goal “freedom” is what I have.
I leave you with this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d died for. -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
So if I die tomorrow I will know that I lived to make a positive impact on those around me regardless of their responses, achievements, or failures.
© 2017 All words & images by Tanya Graham unless otherwise noted.