This upcoming holiday weekend is meant to be about freedom. A celebration of an adored American ideal—that the choices required to chart one's own life are inherently personal.
And yet, our sense is that many in our guest community, 80 percent of whom are women, are feeling like their personal freedoms are in the air. Depending on where they live, some may have just spent the weekend mourning a certain loss already.
Around here, we hold some values that help protect what we call "safe space”. We are a container for folks across every cultural, political, racial, and economic line. We deeply believe that social safety requires agreements.
One important agreement we uphold is that YOUR CHOICE to BE YOU doesn't rob MY BEING OF ME.
In other words, safe spaces prevent any one person, group, or identity from hijacking the collective rhythm. In these spaces, which include our public squares, your choices must elevate my experience. They should not co-opt my story into your particular chapter, belief, or opinion. Your entitlements can’t rob my unconsenting sense of self.
True freedom is found when we hold space for everyone to chart their own course. In love, work, school, and in the most intimate decisions of personal health.
We’ve said it before, and we will say it again, on these shores, until YOU are free, WE ARE NOT FREE.
The opinions, policies, and stances around women’s reproductive health are so varied, like our guests. As a result, it is our belief that each individual guest, family, couple, and woman should be the captain of their own bodies to navigate the many choices the waves of life may bring.
If personal freedom is a value you hold, yet you find yourself having declarations about what others do with theirs, try listening instead of legislating. Support in place of shame. Grace instead of guilt.
And remember, until all are free, YOU ARE NOT FREE. Let freedom ring, one personal choice at a time.
Now that's an Independence Day worth celebrating.