Friday, December 09, 2005

If you see a slave sleeping, do not wake him up. He might be dreaming of freedom

It's a quote my brother used to say in his "fight for the rights of the oppressed" days. Days in which he listened to rap and believed that the black people were to fight for their rights in society. And he, milk-white as he is, believed he was to be considered black because of our great-grandfather.

I was always very critical of everything he did at first, but completely embraced those things a little while later, becoming actually his greatest motivator.

He says that drives him crazy, but I tell him that's my prerogative of being a woman - I have the right to change my mind and start enjoying something I hated at first. And his prerogative as a man is to be understanding of this twist.

"If you see a slave sleeping do not wake him up. He might be dreaming of freedom"... He never really told me what that means, and my understanding is usually different from his...

(He is smarter than I. ... uh, well, I like to think I am still 15 months older and that entitles me some extra knowledge - not true though... We think differently and have our disagreements, but many times , I still think he is smarter... guys are naturally smarter, I guess.)

Anyway - I think the quote means: Freedom is the most precious thing a human being can have, because it gives him dignity. Without freedom we feel like we're not worth anything. And the poor slave has no feedom in his life. But he is at least free to dream. And in his dream he might believe he has freedom. So don't bring him back to crude and cruel reality. Let him have those few moments of freedom - even if it s only make-believe.

In a more philosophical approach -I believe that doesn't only go for slaves in real chains, but for all who live as slaves, deprived of meaningful things in life. Sometimes I feel that way. Maybe we all do at times.

Or - if you see a dreamer, somone who doesn't believe we have to comform to what it is, don't spoil his dream by talking to him about the reality of things - let him follow his dream. We never know where that road may go.

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