The freedom of being a child is the freedom to wonder. The freedom to passively explore. Freedom from demand, freedom from labor. The freedom of being a child is freedom in essence. There’s no greater feeling, no more crystalline a form of clarity. No one has tried yet to impose upon us a system or a process when we are children, except those unfortunates who are inculcated with indoctrination by indoctrinated parents. We may roam. We may sit still. We may sleep, and we may wake. Time stretches when we are able to pace ourselves.
Society bookends our lives, and poisons us enough that we pine for old age in order to be relieved of our forced obligations to a paymaster. Most work is empty, its value going to whoever holds the leash or disappearing into gaping wounds of systemic problems. Most pursuits are invested with importance by the injustices rooted in the civilization we’ve constructed. Play is the essence of life, but we give ourselves struggle and call it fulfillment. We’re all human, inherently equal. Who’s place is it to demand that we be anywhere, be anyone, that we do not ourselves choose to be?
It’s a crime against our humanity to live under the yoke of financial demand or spiritual, existential dread. To be free to pursue our own path, to retain the simple freedom of choice that belongs to children, is the highest principle of a just society. This place doesn’t exist yet. We’ve gotten close; but there’s a lot of work left to do, and most of it backtracking or making up for lost time. Even more than this, we have to remember.
So much has been taken from us that we long for the simple things, or what ought to be simple. Access to healthcare, food and shelter, clean water. The right to live in an environment that isn’t cancer-inducing or spiritually devastating. Some of us are fighting for the right to exist at all. These are the immediate conflicts, to be sure. They must be fought outright and without hesitation; but, in fighting them, we shouldn’t also forget the future we’re fighting to secure or the existences waiting for us on the other side of peace.
There is a higher calling that sits outside bondage and the pain of want. Nothing should keep us from it. The greatest gift that the oppressed can hope to win for themselves is the ability to create, to not worry or be constrained or made demands of by the laws of a broken world. We must be children, and given the liberty to see the world as children. Technology – society itself – must bend or be bent to the extension of this wonder, else they risk their purpose