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Freedom Is Your Birthright

The poem "Warning: When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple" by Jenny Joseph is, for me, one of the greatest poems about freedom....

Warning: When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple
When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple
with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
and run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
and learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
Jenny Joseph
While I cherish the poems eternally naughty twinkle, its resilient spirit of mischief, it does display a longing for 'a time of less social constraint'.

We are born free, society shackles us immediately to its breast and force feeds us its contrived ways, long before we are aware enough to know that our, non-negotiable, birthright was traded, on our behalf, for the rights and responsibilities of tribal life. And we are 'encouraged' to live out our days under the, all too often, archaic rules of whichever tribe, into which we have been born.

Perhaps, a little less social constraint, here and there, in our daily lives would facilitate a waning of that longing for our artificially suspended animal birthright.

And remember people it's us who enforces that social constraint.
We are the ones out there, sneering and laughing at each other's ways, or even looking the other way when organisations, governments or religions trample on the diversity of human experience.
Whenever we are critical of our fellow independent humans, we only tighten the social noose around ourselves and freedom.

Never forget that everything you have been taught is somebody else's opinion of how human existence should be!
But you were born free!
Your individual opinion and the direction in which you choose to take your personal experience of the human condition matters as much, if not more, than any traditional view or socially expected custom.

Never be afraid or ashamed to enjoy
the freedom you were born with.

Feel free to explore and discover your OWN human experience
and endeavour,
as far as the Declaration of Human Rights allows,
to afford all others the same courtesy.





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