The Emancipation That Is Waiting To Be Proclaimed

Published 2:40 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation was celebrated on January 1, Abraham Lincoln using words like primal elements, cutting through the thick chains of slavery, conducting the electricity and heat of freedom through that bondage in southern states engaged in rebellion.

Lincoln cited his authority as commander-in-chief to free the slaves in those states and, therefore, did not believe he had the power to free slaves in the several slave-holding states not engaged in armed rebellion. But the proclamation was the domino effect watershed moment that would, with no possibility of damming its flow, soon flood the nation with the baptismal waters of emancipation for all slaves-achieved with passage by Congress, and ratification by a majority of states, of the 13th Amendment two years later.

A pivotal moment in human history and one still resonating with us today.

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Emancipation is not confined to a single moment within history and time. Emancipation is required for all human beings to fulfill their best destiny because, unfortunately, bondage is also sown and harvested across time and lifetimes. Nor is bondage confined to historical slavery. Chains come in many forms. The phrase chain-smoker, for example, has a deeper meaning than might appear with casual perusal. Chain-smoking is not a voluntary condition.

There are any number of chains, large and small, from which we would do well to emancipate ourselves, chains which cannot be addressed by a presidential proclamation, act of congress, or ratification by even just the single, smallest state in our nation.

Most of us will suffer some form of civil war within ourselves at some point in our lives, some rebellion inside us against what we know is best for ourselves and others, an insurrection against our best intentions and deepest understanding of what we can truly achieve in life.

When we look honestly within ourselves and at our lives, we can become aware of the one, the several, or the many ways we need to emancipate ourselves from whatever holds us down or back in bondage from the kind of life true personal liberty offers us if we'd loosen our hold on those chains and set ourselves free.

Drop the chains and walk on.

No, freedom is not always so simple to achieve, but there are times when it is.

The first step away from the chain is the most difficult, each subsequent step less troublesome.

Be your own Lincoln.

Your own commander-in-chief.

Emancipate yourself.

And domino your effect toward the chains of others.