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It is indeed “Time to Say Goodbye” (in the famous melody of Andrea Bocelli) to 2020. 
But before we lock her away and throw away the key for stealing our freedom…


Let’s take a deep breath. Please. 


How does it feel? 


Are we able to breathe deeply and sweetly without having to distract ourselves away from reality? 


Isn’t this what freedom is? 


Or is the idea of freedom that we are being sold in the form of consumerism or capitalism genuinely your idea of freedom too? 


I was on my way to play Beach Volley and en route I stopped to order a take away sandwich. While I was waiting, which was probably more than 5 minutes I watched an interaction between a man and his dog. 


At first sight it appeared to be a very special, loving human-canine interaction. But with deeper inspection it appeared to me that the human was enjoying having the loyalty and love and company from the dog, and in return the domesticated animal that could no longer fend for itself in this human dominated world renounced its autonomy, its independence and its identity for the sake of its survival. In short it had no choice but to oblige to the wishes of its owner. You know when you can see when someone has just had enough. That’s how I interpreted the dogs body language. It was so clear to me. (in South Africa the expression would be, the dog was “Gatvol”) 


Some call this love, I would call it something different? What about you? What do you think? 


It suddenly dawned upon me that we are the dogs of this system that is feeding us and keeping us permanently distracted away from ourselves. Our true nature. Domesticating us. And preventing us to see the true nature in others. And calling it “love. Technological advancement. Changing the world.”


This insight came to me when my dad who is currently in South Africa told me the country has gone back to stricter Corona restrictions over the festive period. One of the re-imposed laws being the banning of  the sale of alcohol which everyone is up in arms about. 


“Taking away our freedom! Our rights!” is the common cry. 


[Apparently the impact in banning the sale of alcohol is significant in terms of freeing hospital resources (beds, personnel, supplies etc) which would be taken up with alcohol related incidents.]


Wouldn’t freedom be, not needing alcohol in the first place? 


Perhaps the very things that have been taken away from us this year have little to do with our freedom after all?


Imagine not needing to buy the alcohol, that coffee machine, watch the 4th season of that series, smoke that cigarette, buy another pair of yoga leggings, swipe right in the online human catalogue, post that picture or book that flight. 


I believe these are all short term measures to take our attention away from the debt that we owe. FORGETTING. The guilt that we feel. From the life that we have been forced to lead. Like the dog. I don’t think it’s the natural one. The one we would choose if we were truly ourselves. Unlike the dog. And unlike the octopus I saw caught by a fisherman this morning on the pier. (apparently some people eat octopus alive? My heart breaks thinking about this) We have a chance to do something about this. 


Instead of temporarily forgetting. Over and over again. In this never ending cycle. 


Why don’t we try and help each other to REMEMBER? Remember who we are. And that we are all share this air that we breathe. If you can breathe, you are just like me and want to live. The rest is semantics. Our lives are inextricably linked. 


The less harm there is. The less debt. The more free we feel. 


Imagine owing less. Owning less. And living lighter. Perhaps we will be happy with life itself. For being here and being able to breathe. And laugh. And love. 


Isn’t this what freedom is?


  • McInroy says:

    “Why do we spend so much time trying to get back “to normal” when “normal” is the very thing that was wrong in the first place !

    • McInroy says:

      An interesting stat just announced in South Africa. Baragwanath Hospital (one of the busiest hospitals in Africa) did NOT have to admit one person from trauma over New Year . This was reflected throughout the country. Stats don’t lie. The effect of banning alcohol could not be more significant!

      • Avatar photo barefootbeing says:

        It seems that the very little things we are fighting for in the name of our freedom are the things that may in fact take our freedom away. Like drinking alcohol? Thanks for sharing !

  • Right on Bodhi. Happy New Year! Xo Felicia

  • Jane Livingstone says:

    Thank you so much for these words – I have been thinking very similar things recently. I think it’s with all the ‘rules’ etc around Covid. It does make
    all the other ‘rules’ in modern life jump out and you wonder why you are following some of them; just because everyone else is? I often want to run away from it all and just live a really simple life far away from it all.

    • Avatar photo barefootbeing says:

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts Jane! Perhaps we aren’t running away? What if we were returning home? Love to you!

  • Kathleen Lambrechts says:

    Living lighter… yes!
    greetings and hug from Luxembourg