Choose Freedom

Olive Schreiner (1855-1922), author, suffragist, and political activist, who is best known for her semi-autobiographical novel The Story of an African Farm (1883).

In honor of International Women’s Day, I offer the following parable by South African author Olive Schreiner:

I saw a woman sleeping. In her sleep she dreamt Life stood before her, and held in each hand a gift—in the one Love, in the other Freedom. And she said to the woman, “Choose!” And the woman waited long: and she said “Freedom!” And Life said, “Thou hast well chosen. If thou hadst said, ‘Love,’ I would have given thee that thou didst ask for; and I would have gone from thee, and returned to thee no more. Now, the day will come when I shall return. In that day I shall bear both gifts in one hand.” I heard the woman laugh in her sleep.

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