“I wish I was free as a bird.”
Such powerful and emotional statement can come from anyone’s mouth.
I think of some people, particularly those with strong family traditions, who are occupied by the heavy responsibilities and obligations at home.
Those who are pulled apart by working for living, and living for work.
I learn day by day from individuals who are inseparable from the intertwined physical and psychological destructions, and the trauma still uncontrollably returns back to self from time to time.
All these things which drown and drag us into the deep sea-bed, so deep we cannot climb back to the surface.
I am amazed by how similar we seem to be with the same single thought, and our underlying issues can be so different and diverse, some even beyond our imagination.
When I was in Hong Kong, I was surrounded by the emotional voices wanting democracy out of the Mainland China’s authoritative communism. “I want to be free.” They exclaimed.
Now living within the European zone, I begin to realize how real the severity of the Refugee and Asylum situations was. I attended a local forum a few days ago on the current UK project (The Dispersal) done for Asylum seekers/refugees, and I was shocked by how little I actually understood the true meaning of freedom.
“Four years, time has stopped. I feel I am stuck in time…Sometimes I feel I can’t make hope anymore…ask myself how many years, how long does it take? I am really tired of calling myself an asylum seeker.”
“The red traffic light represents my life that is on hold/stopped. I can only go one way the little arrow points, I have no choices anymore because of my situation.”
“I have got so much on my plate, too much of everything is not alright.”
I wish I was free as a bird.
This is what the Asylum seekers hope for.
Such sense of “no freedom” is overwhelming. The numbness of losing hope, despair and no sense of direction. Deep rooted at the fundamental base of home. The identity, everything from the country just taken away and there is no going back.
In reality such situation has little linkage with East Asia at the moment, yet I feel deeply emotional. In the deeper sense, I am connected to these people because we are the same as human beings, and just because of that we deserve the same things we have, and we deserve to connect and care, and be connected and cared from one and other.
I believe that even we cannot understand all the different meanings underly the same phrase, with our hearts we can listen and attend to the resonating deep emotions.
I wish I was free as a bird.
With care and compassion we help each other set free,
And we ourselves break free.
Let us spend some time on attending to others’ inner worlds.
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