What is Freedom?

31 May

Since becoming self employed, I feel extremely FREE.

I have chosen to use some of my additional time surfing Facebook and twitter. Social media for me is a tool to access the articles and world news that has been made accessible by millions of people and companies.

This time off has turned into some major TIME ON, and has led me to believe that freedom is the ability to comprehend communication.

The power to know what is being said, written, or implied; to understand the context of a subject, and to be able to apply a topic to your life or situation, is freedom.

Communication comprehension has allowed me to gain the following capabilities:

  • Quality reading and verbal skills, although not always the best with formal writing.
  • Efficiency at following directions (except while driving).
  • Thorough ability to process information in a way where people do not have to continuously repeat themselves.
  • I can complete tasks without much guidance.
  • I seek information and examples of finished products that connect the dots between how my work integrates with others.

I believe that these assets all stem from greater than average comprehension skills.

The ability to comprehend communications, allows you to make informed decisions while understanding the consequences of your choices.

In October I attended a Latino Diversity training that focused on the dynamics between English-speaking youth and their families/ parents whom could not speak or understand English. The trainer provided examples of how parents lose parental power in circumstances in which the child has to relay/translate information from adults or authority figures, especially when it relates to the child’s behavior or academic progress.

This reality-check, made me begin to think about how I take for granted my ability to comprehend and communicate with others. Overall, I began to look at language and communication differently. I have become more aware of communication comprehension as a tool to success and a form of FREEDOM,if not FREEDOM itself. 

My feelings about comprehension were further confirmed after I learned about George Dawson while watching Oprah. At 98 years old Dawnson made it a priority to learn to read, having not even known the alphabet at that time.

I also believe that optimism and positive thinking are critical elements to Freedom. During trying times, I have remained positive, and the results have been amazing. But, it is about more than just seeing the victory on the other end. Positive thinking is about interpretation, and choosing to interpret life in the fashion of solution seeking and hope.

I have grown a lot in this regard (positive thinking) over the past 4 months. Freeing myself from an environment (the workplace) in which I was constantly on-guard has allowed me to dismantle the on-guard attitude that was beginning to seek into all of my existence.

By making the choice to live a positive life, I have found Freedom. 

What is freedom to you? When and how did you discover freedom?

Below is a link to the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) website that discusses the Freedom Rides and much more.


during the month of June I will offer one complimentary consultation for the top 3 individuals with the highest levels of engagement on my blog. (Once selected, the winners can defer their consultation to a friend or family member of their choice). My complimentary consultation will focus on business and marketing development, grant writing services, and strategic development for a topic of your choice.

I am defining engagement as:

  • commenting on various entries sharing on facebook, linkedin, and twitter and tagging me or notifying me of the share
  • emailing post to your friends or networks (bcc me on the
  • And any other creative ways of engagement you can think of!

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4 responses to “What is Freedom?

  1. K. Sidney

    June 2, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Being self-employed really is the way to go. I’m not FULLY self-employed yet, but I know the freedom that you speak of when I wear my NU PURSUIT hat. I don’t think artists should be employed…they should be employers. It takes a creative thinker to be a good leader.

    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      June 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

      One thing I have realized about being self-employed is that I have A LOT more bosses- lol. But, I think what makes this experience different than formal employment is that many of my clients do not think of themselves as my boss. I say this jokingly, but with truth. The freedom is in being able to weed out my daily duties, choose if a client or project is right for me, and to serve in a way that fully aligns with my values. I can only imagine when you are doing your music with NU PURSUIT that you feel similar. I can’t wait to see you get on top of the music game!

  2. Jeff Baker

    January 8, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    I believe freedom lies in the shackles of the beholder (LBVS). Freedom is different to us depending on our circumstances. When you spoke of freedom being the ability to comprehend for you, it struck a nerve. A lack of comprehension/understanding, creates a barrier between you and knowledge, the lack of knowledge keeps you shackled, a vicious cycle !! You struck a nerve because I believe you made a profound statement about our community as a whole, without even recognizing that you had done so. The comprehension skills of our youth, especially those attending these Chicago Public Schools, is dismall, for lack of a more negative word. If comprehension is understanding, that leads to knowledge that leads to freedom, then our children ae being TRAINED, not educated, to be in comfortable shackles forever. Approximately 70% percent of Black CPS high school graduates are reqired to take remedial reading courses upon entering college, to be more clear, over 70% of CPS graduates cannot read well enough to succeed in college courses, so the colleges have to teach them to read before teaching them college level courses. How do we expect our children to EVER feel FREE, when will they realize fredom ?? They will never feel it, nor will they ever realize it, unless people such as you and I, who have been BLESSED with “above average comprehension skills”, c

    • Ashley S.C. Walls

      January 9, 2012 at 4:09 pm

      Jeff, thank you for reading this post. I think that parents, family members, and mentors can work on comprehension with young people. I would love to know how CFABC is working to help improve comprehension as I know it is a focus of yours as the current President of this progressive coalition.


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