In the first of a new six-part series on National Geographic, Academy Award-winning actor Morgan Freeman sheds some light on who humanity is at this stage of world history. Called The Story of Us (airing Wednesdays @ 9 PM/8 CT and On-Demand), it follows in a similar vein to his series The Story of God yet brings the story closer to home. If the first episode (“The March to Freedom”) was any indication, the rest of the series is worth paying careful attention to.
Most of us have never found ourselves in a position where our freedom has been compromised to the point where we’ve truly had to suffer. I’m not talking about the local restaurant running out of a menu item, but where liberties and rights simply refuse to exist. Enduring such situations is incredibly difficult, yet a newfound hope and desire to make freedom a closer reality for others can spring up from where there was nothing before.
As in The Story of God, Freeman uses a series of interviews to tell an overall story, adding commentary tying them together. The interviews tend to be quite varied, providing additional interest in the show’s topic. In the case of the first episode, Freeman spent some time with an individual who was born and raised in a North Korean prison camp, a gentleman placed in solitary confinement for 43 years (yes, you read that correctly), a Guatemalan lady who won the Nobel Peace Prize—but not after watching her entire extended family die as the result of brutal political oppression, and a few others. Freeman is a good interviewer, exhibiting an easygoing manner while asking appropriate, thought-provoking questions.
I came away from the first episode with a sense that perhaps we have some learning to do. Freedom allows a person to have dreams, visions, and hopes for today and the future. When freedom is gone, all that is left is a ghostly shell of an existence. But the glimmers of what might be can provide fuel for possibility and give a person a reason to wake up and make a powerful difference in their sphere of influence. Christians find a spiritual version of this freedom in Jesus. However, spiritual freedom does not mean living in the past; instead, by pressing forward and loving God and treating others as they want to be treated, they can help others discover the same freedom they enjoy (see Galatians 5:13-14).
May we discover freedom and point people in that direction in some way today.
NEXT WEEK: Episode 2: The Fight for Peace