“I feel like a free woman. I have no plan like a bird and happy as a bird, a clean bird with wings,” said a woman in her 20s in a letter. She wanted to be free from everything. She wanted to be free from people and society. It was something a woman in a young age could say.
On the receiving end of the letter, a man in his 40s asked her, “Birds make a nest, feed their family and take responsibility for their happiness. Are you on the same level as them?” To human, birds flying in the sky seem free, but they make their nest, lay and hatch eggs and feed their little ones. He is asking whether she is taking such responsibilities, If not, wanting to be “free as a bird” is rather irresponsible. Using freedom only to “satisfy current desires” without taking any responsibility is irresponsible. It was an advice to ponder upon the purpose of freedom.
The man who loved her persuaded her in a soft manner, and the deep thoughts under the softness were persuasive enough for her. As he says, humans live in “the three, four, give and even higher dimensional spaces” unlike birds that live in two dimensions. That makes humans take bigger responsibilities than other creatures to eliminate wounds, pain and slavery of other people. He lived his life in such a way. After being fired from his professorship at the University of Pennsylvania at a young age, he devoted his life to socially vulnerable groups through lectures, writing and organic farming. She realized the true meaning of freedom while living as his wife. She left records of her life with him after he died. Her name was Helen Nearing, and her husband was Scott Nearing.