Of all the human rights that this country has to offer, one stood out from the rest and that is the right to life. We often take that for granted, that we actually have the right to life. We have the privilege of freedom without realising that somewhere in the world there are people breathing and living but they are not as fortunate to have the right to life as we do. They’re alive sure, but they aren’t living a life they wish they could live. There is no genuine freedom.

South Africa, as multi-racial and democratic as it is, consists of people who have the right to life but who hate their lives each day and are not enjoying it to its full capacity or potential. Why? A lack of appreciation for life and a lack of identity in a culture where being different is strange and fitting in is being normal. Why live like that? Why not enjoy the benefits of having the right to life and the right to freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression goes hand-in-hand with freedom of life.

Without life there is no expression. Expressions are what make our lives the way it is. How we choose to express ourselves is how we choose to live. Why would you want to take your life away? How do you do that? By stripping yourself of yourself-worth and hiding your individuality. You strip yourself-worth away when you do not appreciate who you are. You rob yourself of your own individuality when you expect yourself to be like everyone else.

Don’t you be the one to cause the downfall of an excellent life full of creative expressions by telling it to be quiet and fit in. No. Don’t fit in, stand out! Shine out. Break forth. Be you. Don’t just have life, fulfil that life by doing all the things you want to do. Express yourself. Set goals and go for it! Do something you wouldn’t normally do, try something new. Be the most passionate person you know. Let others see that life truly is worthwhile living just by showing them how passionately you’re living it, with nothing but a grateful and carefree heart. A heart that does not dare be anything but itself.

Expressing oneself is absolutely beautiful. Don’t be afraid to express your needs, your desires, your struggles but most importantly – your values. Your expression is what gives you character. It is what gives you personality and it is what makes you unique. The right to be able to live and express ourselves is not just a right. But in this world where red becomes bad if the only colour to wear is black, expressing oneself is a privilege.

Take each day as it comes. Live in the moment. Be happy and appreciate what’s right in front of you. Just remember that there is always someone out there worse off than you and there’s always something out there to be thankful for. If anything, be thankful for the fresh air you get to inhale each day. Be thankful for a heart that’s beating. As long as it’s still beating, there’s hope. Be thankful for life. Not just any life, a free life.

Let’s be thankful for what we truly have in this country – freedom. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. Freedom of expression. Freedom of privacy. Countries in the middle east of the world, could only dream of such freedom. We might not be the best but we’re certainly not the worst.


Tell us: What makes you free and how do you express your true self?