Some time after I first heard about it, and almost as long after I had the desire to watch it, I watched the film ’12 Years a Slave’. It’s not an easy film to watch. Even more so because the events depicted happened to many, many people.

Freedom is a theme I am musing over at the moment. It means many thing to many people and many things to each and every one of us if we take the time to look at our lives. It is a simple but powerful and complex word.

The freedom to do.

The freedom to be.

The freedom to think.

The freedom to say.

Such freedoms were not always widely available and still aren’t available in many places and to many people. A state of being worth recognising, valuing and treasuring. I am even considering naming my home / boat / home ‘Freedom’. I have a way to go on thinking about and understanding the full meaning of the word myself; time tends to bestow glimpses, small revelations and epiphanies that gradually add up to a fuller understanding and knowledge.

Films tend to draw me to the subject akin to a moth to the flame. I watch a film about the claustrophobic, underwater depths and dangers of caving (Sanctum) and I have the urge to go pot-holing. Similarly the film about capture by Somali pirates (Captain Philips) draws my interest towards the possibilities of being a commercial ship’s crewman. ’12 Years a Slave’ belongs to a different category however. Learning of an unequivocal wrong engenders within me a strong desire to devote my efforts and life if need be to righting this wrong or ensuring these events can never be repeated. Films about much more recent events show that even today, there are wrongs being perpetrated in this world (Shotgun Preacher) (Hotel Rowanda) and more.

Freedom is also a gift we can bestow on others. Through our own actions large or small we can make the existence of those around us better in some way.

Value the freedom. Be free with the gift.

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