While Bob Marley is plucking strings in my head, I am thinking about the enormity of this concept. Freedom from slavery is the key idea. Increasing your wiggle room. Getting something back that you lost. No longer being “sold down the river”. Also, paying off debt and things like that. Cleaning the slate so you can move forward. In former times quite literally buying your freedom (and for many people this is still the case in once way or another, actual slavery is still real).
Redemption is also about being freed from sin, evil or errors. These might not be the words you choose but it’s essentially about things that happened or things we did that now bind us in a way that is not helpful, that were hurtful to self and others. Not always intentional but detrimental nonetheless. Life experience is an expensive, painful school sometimes. And a lot of the redemption work you are going to have to face and do yourself (do get help where you need it and use what is available). Have the conversations, help mend what is broken, pay your dues (literally and figuratively). And then move on. We don’t always appreciate the journey, the struggles and all the many steps from “the narrow places” to somewhere better, more fruitful to our next step of growth.
Exodus is a big word. On a smaller, London Saturday morning kinda scale, this involves letting go of the old, getting ready to start a new life in a better place. Not necessarily involving moving, but needing “stuff to move in the right direction” to happen. Also, some letting go. Overcoming at least some of the immediate, ongoing struggle (some real, some in our minds and hearts alone). Using some of that freed-up energy to build something better, something forward-facing. As Bob Marley would have it: “None but ourselves can free our minds” (I don’t agree with the atomic energy bit he mentions next but that’s for another time).
This might not happen in one full, miraculous swoop. You can do your part (do your part!), but you are going to need help along the way. No big worthy journey is done and accomplished alone. It helps when “the time is right” and when you have others to support, a group of people having similar ideals. Also, seriously, take your hands out of your pockets and start helping others where you can. Contributions come in all sizes. If you have no idea where to start, check out the UN sustainable development goals, they are basically humanity’s homework list . And if this seems big and distant, pick one that resonates with you, look in your community what that means and how this applies and start there. We are a team of 7 billion people which is enough to fix this if we all muck in.
In times where I often can’t listen to the news without welling up at the sheer enormity of the mess, redemption is a good value to hold on to. Channeling the anger and frustration that we still don’t seem to have learned all that much in millennia into something hopefully more useful. It seems to be a fundamentally human thing, so much struggle, all the time and energy wasted with infighting, with seemingly so little progress. I find myself getting impatient.
But we keep going, as there is no alternative. Nobody is free until everyone is free. Keep doing the helpful things you are doing (and why not amp it up a notch). Get off the fence and start putting some of your values into action. It’s about time. “Won’t you help to sing. These songs of freedom. Redemption songs. It’s all I ever had. Redemption songs.”