We celebrate our country’s freedom this week.  Sixty two years ago, our nation emerged from British rule and set about the great task of self-rule.

While so much has been done in these six plus decades, we know that there is still so much more to be done in Nation-building.

We are proud that the government is providing free Anti-Retroviral Therapy to people with HIV/AIDS.   We are happy that our health system is encouraging people to get tested for HIV – and that many children who would be born HIV positive are being protected through the medications given to pregnant women with HIV before the delivery.

At the same time we know that so much more needs to be done.

So many in our nation who have HIV are still so afraid to even find out about their status, that they do not seek help in the first place.

So many, who have some access to government resources are bound by their own broken relationships.  By feelings of despair and hopelessness.  By habits that they cannot break out of – some seeking solace in the bottle, others in pornography and serial sexual relationships.

I got a call yesterday from a man with a good job.  A man who to everyone’s outward appearance is successful.  But a man who keeps giving in and visiting prostitutes for sexual pleasure.   He hates what he does – but seems powerless to overcome.

Let us celebrate freedom day this year with real freedom.  Freedom from the habits and actions that we loathe in ourselves.  Freedom from the things that we find ourselves doing over and over again, and have tried to change many a time, but still wake up at the same spot.

We know that it is not possible to change on our own.  If it were, we would all be perfect long ago.

We need God in the picture.  A higher power who is loving and caring – and who is patient enough to help us forward.

We need each other.  We need to be open and honest with ourselves – and with each other.  Keeping each other accountable.  Moving forward in mutual help and support.

Our country did not gain freedom by the actions of a single person – no matter how great our leaders were.  The freedom movement took root when thousands upon thousands acted.  Small, individual – and often costly acts – which lead to the change that we have enjoyed over the past 62 years.

We at Jeevan Sahara Kendra are committed to seeing the process of freedom move forward.  Step by step.  We want to see ourselves move from areas of bondage in our lives to lives lived in self-control and freedom.  Freedom is not giving in to every impulse – but rather being able to humbly master our thoughts, actions and responses.

We welcome you on this journey with us.


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