Season 2 – epiBLOG 1:
The word FREEDOM seems to conjure up all sorts of images when the word is uttered out of the lips of any one person. But through the ears of the listener, this word should not only warm their hearts, but put a smile on their face as well.
Everyone learned a lot about who I am and what I am about in my “Season 1” of the Uncloseted Professor, and I’m sure you’ll be learning more about me as you continue to follow my blog series.
However, this season brings with it monthly themes with little nuggets of wisdom to carry us all through from week to week. Come on, you can’t go more than 7 days without a little piece of Nitara. 🙂
In honor of Independence Day, we will celebrate “Freedom” for the entire month of July.
Welcome to Season 2…
I hope that all of you enjoyed your 4th of July celebrations yesterday! I absolutely did!
I’m looking forward to the rest of this wonderful year!
I’ll never forget the now famous words vocalized by the character ‘Uncle Ben’ in the film Spiderman. He said, “Remember, with great power comes great responsibility.” I know – you guys are tired of my movie references, but I just can’t help it. Movies teach so many lessons… and in an entertaining way! Let’s face it – “edutainment” is priceless!
Nevertheless, the words “power,” “responsibility,” and “freedom” all feel connected to me. When I think of the word “freedom,” my mental images get flooded with the American Flag, the Statue of Liberty… the day I first received my driver’s license and drove by myself…
We seem to remember IN images, almost like our mind has created this beautiful, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes painful movie within our heads. But as a screenwriter, words equally resonate with me and leave a lasting impression on my heart.
We are granted this wonderful gift known as “freedom” here in the United States of America. And I believe because we were born into it, it’s taken for granted by so many because we haven’t experienced the limitations of being “edited,” “controlled,” and “shackled.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware of racism, sexism, homophobia, and religious intolerance facing this country. We are far from perfect, but somehow we all find freedom in our own ways to make being an American and living on this beautiful land a great gift.
In my opinion, with freedom comes power, which then leads to responsibility. We have the freedom of speech to express ourselves as we see fit. We can do so through writing, acting, delivering speeches, film, theatre, television, poetry, comedy, song, dance, sculpture, painting, graphic design, and within many other forms. That’s the responsibility that we, the artists, carry on our shoulders. We hope to have some sort of dramatic, comedic, or thrilling impact on the eyes and ears of our fans. Artists have the power to shift paradigms, and therefore to persuade the masses and the lawmakers that lead to evoking change. That’s power. And that power is created through the freedoms that we all share to express ourselves as we see fit.
We have all heard the expression that “art imitates life…” or does life imitate art? Because of our freedoms to express ourselves as artists, have we not contributed to the shift in paradigms within this country? I’m not downplaying the civil rights leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or Harvey Milk, nor do I want to downplay powerful women such as Hilary Clinton whom has broken ground in so many obvious ways. Black people, members of the LGBTQ community, and women have moved forward in this country because there were those of us who chose to fight in the battle grounds of the streets, in court rooms, and in the voting booths of America.
Nevertheless, there are still those of us who are bold enough to use our art as our voice. This is our freedom. This is the power that we have. Do we not have a responsibility to share our voice utilizing the talent that we’ve been given?
Consider all of the films, paintings, sculptures, television shows, stage plays, commercials, bill boards, poetry, songs, architecture, animation, books (self-help, fiction, or non-fiction), technology (yes, techies are artists too) that have “spoken” to us and have given us a new perspective on ourselves, our lives, and the world in which we live.
Sometimes artists don’t feel like their voices are being heard because their bank account doesn’t match their talents and skills. But freedom is a funny thing… sometimes an elusive idea that gets swept away and hidden from us by life. However, we need to recognize it as a gift fought for by others. And now because of freedom, we have the power to not only make changes, but the responsibility to do so.
Today’s LESSON is to appreciate your freedom enough to have the courage to share your voice and talent with the world.
FUN ASSIGNMENT: Consider ONE way that you can share your voice with the world through the use of your talent and skills. Actively take ONE step today towards it.