Saturday, 22 December 2007

One Man's Freedom, Another Man's Bondage...In Reference To Wole Soyinka's Quote

Quoting Wole Soyinka : “the condition of slave is the denial of freedom of action, of freedom of choice. Bondage, be it the body or of the human will”.

But I take this a notch further. When freedom have been over stretched beyond the limit of its elasticity, as to the point where the human knows no will, then a new kind of slavery will be born, a self-automated kind of slavery. Only this time, it is much worse, for it hides under the comfortable wings of self-complacency, where it feeds from the debris of abject illusion. The entanglement becomes more complex without an obvious warning sign, and soon, like cancer, there will be a need for chemotherapy. It will affect the taste buds and take away distinction. Then the utmost value of freedom which is the voluntary ability to choose a thing from the other will be lost, leaving freedom less valuable than dung.

This is the escalation that result from having more than what one needs and not knowing what to do with the excess. In our exclamation for our rights as humans, let us not forget that when we become addicted to the want for freedom, we could easily forget that freedom in itself could be addictive. Like every addiction, it co-exists symbiotically with its host, sucking away, in a deteriorating manner, all the juice that makes it worthy of all dedication while paradoxically making the host crave for more, surely at the detriment of others, but more dangerously at the expense of its doomed host.

Therefore it is important to recognize the two-edged functionality of freedom, and then it will be easier to admit that freedom comes with a twin brother- Responsibility! The responsibility embedded in the ability to constantly re-assess the frontiers of one's free will in relation to others, for one man's freedom could spontaneously be another man's bondage if not controlled. In so doing, we will keep our excessiveness within a self-defined measurement whose parameters depend a lot on an honest consideration for the human right of those who continue to be slaves in the vineyards cultivated by our own cravings for freedom. Only then shall we be worthy of our numerous blatant manifestations and ominous declarations towards human right violations.

There are many born unfortunate and many more born clutching silver spoons, there are those who boast of inherited wealth in the highest vaults while some have nothing but dry lands with water a million miles under the earth’s crust – far beyond their reach and that of their children. The earth is converging in the name of globalization, moreover, thank God for technology; now, the world of information infiltrates our privacy – even the most private moments of abundant banquets – we are often faced with contrasting scenarios that could drive one to forcefully throw out all the stomach contents through the mouth. We cannot continue to play the ignoramus. Of what use is our millions stashed away in strong-rooms when somewhere, not as far as a money transfer, a child of 24 months is dying – simply out of malnutrition – and the nearest doctor is a village away and has up to 60, 000 patients to attend to? I will encourage us not to look at this question as mere rhetoric, but to keep roaming around it for a justifiable answer; perhaps we could find answers that could conveniently exempt us from the guilt of criminals condemned for life with hard labour! I strongly doubt - and I stand to be corrected !


Even our pets – the cats, dogs, rabbits and pony – have pet rights, that is, their rights to be treated as pets by humans. A peep into the reality of grocery stores suggests that pet rights are not less equal than human rights – often times I have caught myself half-way pulling out a dog’s tin food while shopping for my usual can-beef. As a bona fide citizen, we are expected to regard pet rights as a subsidiary of our human rights, right?

I will end this article by saying that there are millions of people all over the world – alive at this moment – whose rights as humans cannot stand the weight of one-hundredth of those attributed to our midget pets. How on earth can we boast of being humans?

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