This blog post is dedicated to +Te Mihinga Komene
I've just spent four days away at work with our Pasifika and Maori aiga (i.e. an example of work people who become family). Had a great time reconnecting and reconciling. I guess it's that time of year when you start to assess or take stock of what it is that you've done for others, but still enough time to figure out, what you can do for yourself. The video clip I've attached to this blog post has Emeli Sande performing the song, as the original performances of Nina Simone performing it can be found on YouTube. The best performance is of course the one at the 1976 Montreux Jazz Festival.
I wish I knew how it would feel to be free
I wish I could break all the chains holding me
I wish I could say all the things that I should say
Say 'em loud, say 'em clear, for the whole round world to hear
What metaphorical chains are holding you back? Do you wish you could break free of them? If you do, the best thing is to figure out what caused the chains to be placed on you in the first place and attack the source. What things do you think you need to say? That you should say? Someone said to me the other day I need to speak up. I thought about this, because I thought that I had said enough to be quite honest. So I thought about what that actually meant, and realised that I had actually done all I can - it was the people I had expected to take it to the next level, that hadn't moved. Literally.
I wish I could share all the love that's in my heart
Remove all the bars that keep us apart
I wish you could know what it means to be me
Then you'd see and agree that every man should be free
I have often wondered about this. How can you reveal what's in your heart? Can people be trusted to see what you store in there and if they knew can they be trusted to keep it to themselves? I think sometimes we need to be vigilant about who we share with and what we share with them. It's sad to say, but there might instances where you find that you can't trust people. You might have honest and good intentions, I mean these are the normal emotions that are wrapped up with trust, because you think that by revealing things about yourself, that they can at least understand what it means to be you. Sometimes people press you for information and want you to reveal pieces of your heart. but once you give them a piece, they don't know what to do with it, or realise it's more than they were willing to accept so they either give it back, throw it back in your face or throw it away when you're not looking.
I wish I could give all I'm longin' to give
I wish I could live like I'm longin' to live
I wish I could do all the things that I can do
And though I'm way overdue, I'll be startin' anew
Where would you be willing to give all you're longing to give? How will you be able to live like you're longing to live? We often hold ourselves from all we can give and how much we can live because we think too much about other people's opinions or we lack the confidence to be all we can be. I think that even though we may feel in such a rut sometimes about how fast we should be progressing in life, we shouldn't fixate on that. We learn the lessons we need to learn and once we have completely transformed and learned from those lessons, even if they are overdue. we can always start anew. What new things are you looking forward to achieving? What new ways of being will you be exploring?
Well I wish I could be like a bird in the sky
How sweet it would be if I found I could fly
Oh I'd soar to the sun and look down at the sea
It's important to explore and try new things in your life, in whatever situation you find yourself in, because you never know what you're good at until you try it. There are things that we may not have been exposed to in our natural environments that we may find in other foreign contexts. We need to be open to that sometimes - we should be open to new experiences and that just because it's not part of our familiar, it doesn't mean it's a bad thing. It's just unknown. How would we feel if we suddenly discovered that we could fly, this whole entire time, but didn't even know it? What a tragedy.
Then I'd sing 'cause I know, yea
Then I'd sing 'cause I know, yea
Then I'd sing 'cause I know,
I'd know how it feels
Oh I know how it feels to be free
Yea yea! Oh I know how it feels
I hope that you find your freedom.
The thing about freedom is that for some of us, we surround ourselves with excuses that block us from living it. But there are people out there who are may not be as free as you and I, who don't have the kind of quality of life, where we take our freedom for granted. We might never know what this means because wars have been waged in our collective histories that have enabled us to be so free. But there are instances where I am not as free as I would like to be because I have obligations and duties to fulfil that I must perform. This doesn't mean that I resent those obligations and duties. In fact, I'm grateful that I have such responsibilities that have come about as a result of my own capability and capacity to do things, to help make decisions that will ensure the smooth running of things, that will help make other people's lives better. I hope that at one point in our lives, we should all be able to say, oh I know how it feels to be free. . .