This week I celebrated Independence Day on a long overdue and much needed vacation which my friends and family literally bullied me into. I’m very far from everything, and it’s wonderful. I’ve found a new hobby (as though I needed another!) and am making friends that will be with me for a long time. This feeling of immersion in something amazing and fantastical is familiar. It’s the feeling that makes me get lost in a painting and forget about the world, or be so engrossed in a project that I think of nothing else. It’s dancing or playing music or pushing my body to its limits. It’s that all consuming euphoric passion that makes me loose myself.
Then I see this. Ironically released on my Independence Day, Amnesty International is calling for the immediate release of 3 political prisoners in Burma arrested last month for peacefully protesting. They have been denied bail.
Several other warrants are out for protesters who peacefully demonstrated in the last few months. That’s on top of hundreds of prisoners of conscience who are already behind bars. While it’s true that many prisoners have been released since last year under the new government, there are still arrests being made and very strict laws around demonstrations and organizations, making it easy for the government to throw protesters in jail.
How blest are we to have freedom? Do we think of the wonder that we can speak our minds? Or remember that some of our friends can’t?
As I’m getting lost in the fun of my new hobby, I have to remind myself of the foundational value that roots me to humankind; to work for Freedom, Justice, and Peace for all people.