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Sonia’s article in the August Diary July 26, 2021

Posted by nicholastufton in The Diary Monthly letter.

Cry Freedom!

Initially, 19th July was flagged as Freedom Day, when Covid restrictions would be lifted. As that day approached and infections continued to rise, enthusiasm for unlimited unlock became more muted and a staggered relaxation of restrictions was advocated. This would rely on levels of personal responsibility (ranging from that of the Head of the NHS to the man at the UEFA euro finals fooling around with a flare).

Nelson Mandela, who was imprisoned for 27 years by Apartheid South Africa, on account of his fight for equal legal status for its black majority population with its white minority, eventually became its President. Mandela said, “To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others”. Consideration of others’ fears and vulnerabilities should guide us in our exercise of covid freedoms.

Freedom from internal conflicts is also a worthwhile goal. Bitterness at what life has thrown at us; grievances, hurts, injustices inflicted on ourselves or on those we care about can become corrosive if we can’t resolve their internal effects, even if we can’t ignore their external reality. We may not forget, but if we are unable to forgive, they will be a permanent burden crushing our spirit. To gain freedom through forgiveness is not easy, may require many repetitions, and we can rarely do it alone. Appropriate counselling and, for those who do, prayer can help. Even if you don’t really believe in God, you could try it. “OK God, if you exist, please help me put aside my rage at these dreadful things so I may attain freedom from hate, desire for revenge, or even just deep sorrow.”

Nelson Mandela, after all the injustices he had suffered said, As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison.”

Many blessings

Sonia 07747 844265


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