One of my uni readings is the first chapter in the Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire. During the introduction, Freire discusses the problematic nature of the oppressed, their search for freedom and liberation but how all they know is the life of the oppressed and the oppressor, there is no alternative in their eyes. Even when their situations change, they often become oppressors themselves and emulate what they have seen around them.
The oppressed yearn for freedom, and liberation means becoming free, but often they have a fear of freedom. According to Freire, change begins with both the oppressor and the oppressed, with relationships and solidarity being the key.
During this reading I am reminded of our own situations in life. Are we oppressors or the oppressed? I tend to think we are both, in different situations. How do we, as the oppressed, seek this freedom and restore our humanity or rather what Freire calls ‘being human’? I am reminded of our saviour, Jesus Christ, how he came to free us – he was (and is) our revolutionary leader! The liberation referred to by this educationalist reminds me a lot of the process we go through when we accept Jesus and what he did for us.
However I am still deep in thought about the oppressor and the oppressed. What ways in our life are we the oppressor? We neither want to be the oppressor nor the oppressed, but the liberated one. However I want to be more than a passive liberated one, I want to be part of the liberation process. I want to continue the liberation process in my own life, but also be part of the process in the lives of others.