Written by Let's All Be Free 23.04.13
A guest article by Jaclyn Lyons - blogger, student and features editor at Beyond Good Ideas magazine - about what being free has meant to her in her development as a writer, and overcoming the obstacles within herself along the way:
When I was a young child, strangers probably assumed I was a mute. I barely spoke to my own family and had to have my mother volunteer in my classroom until I overcame the severity of my separation anxiety in the second grade. I was a prisoner to my anxiety that back then was simply called shyness.
“Why won’t Jackie talk?” other children in my class would ask.
“Oh, she’s just shy,” people would say.
Written by Let's All Be Free 17.04.13
It’s come, it’s gone, and it’s left behind a wake of enthusiasm and inspiration. We are delighted to report that the first-ever Let’s All Be Free Film Festival was an incredible success! We got to meet all sorts of talented filmmakers, film lovers, and others excited to discuss what being free means to them. We heard from a brilliant panel of varied guest speakers; engaged them with the audience; and challenged everyone to think and rethink their assumptions about the world.
In case you haven’t noticed, America is absolutely crazy about freedom.
Well, not necessarily ‘freedom’, per se, but Freedom™ — as brought to you by the United States of America. You know, stars, stripes, and unalienable rights. The freedoms of speech, press, petition, assembly, and religion. The freedom to purchase guns and the free market system. Fat-free, meat-free, free of blemishes and human deficiency (à la Hollywood); discrimination-free, segregation-free, free to think what you want, do what you want, and achieve what you want regardless of sex, race, religion, or disability.
(Well, more or less.)
My childhood holds a whole mass of things I try not to dwell on unless absolutely necessary – middle school, braces, and tie-dye to name just a few. Along those lines, I haven’t thought seriously about the Catholic church since I was fifteen, and being forcibly ejected from bed every Sunday morning, to spend an hour in a drafty room with a bunch of strangers that smelled of incense and old lady perfume, with nothing to look forward to at the end besides a stale donut.
But last week, upon hearing the news of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, all I could do was sit in a chair, stare at my coffee, and mutter wow every few seconds. A friend, bemused, declared that it was probably due to the fact that she hadn’t been raised Catholic like I had, but it just didn’t seem like such a big deal.
Jessica Cox is a motivational speaker. She is a black belt in tae kwon do, a graduate in psychology, a pianist, a wife, and an airplane pilot. She drives herself to work, travels the globe, brushes her hair, and can even eat with chopsticks. There’s no question: Jessica Cox is an inspiration to us all.
Oh – and did we mention she was born without arms? Click 'More...' below to read more about her truly incredibly story, and what it really means for the rest of us.
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