What is Freedom?

Freedom – the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants.

You might see this as a controversial post. Freedom, after all – by definition, is the choice to choose how to think, feel and exist in a way that is free from the influence of others. I, after all, by my own desire to write this blog, could be considered; not by many, as trying to persuade you to think as I do. But, you, of course, are free to think what you want. Afterall, where would we be without the view and perspectives of other people, who, of course – as we all have, have lived and experience life in their own unique and special way.

I consider myself to be very openminded. I think every person has a rich and valuable experience, which, when shared, can be of great value. If every person had the opportunity to travel and experience different cultures, then I think we would live in a very different world. There are those, of course, those who have no interest in sharing the experience of others and are more than happy to think and feel the way they do. I would say, however, that their lives are made more difficult by the fact that they are stuck with the habits and behaviours that only few people are fulfilled by. By not being free enough, as an individual, to accept and enrich ones perspectives from all opportunities, in the fashion of the experience of others, is a form of imprisonment in itself.

Freedom, by many, is considered to come with money. However, you can have little money and still have a strong sense of freedom. Money simply gives you options. Boundaries are inherent in society. Money creates boundaries. There are also boundaries created by religion and the legal system which can be healthy and necessary. However, I believe that if peoples’ needs are met – that is to say – people have what they need, then certain boundaries become less necessary.

People crave the recognition of others. No one likes being disliked by others. It is part of being human. Put simply everyone would rather be liked by others than be disliked. However, when we are reliant on others liking us in order for us to feel good about ourselves, then we are, inherently, not in control of our feelings, as we are under the influence of others and not free. When we are reliant on others to make us feel good when, having the courage to be disliked is decisive (Kishmi and Koga, 2017). It is important to recognise I am not saying we should actively seek to be disliked. I am saying we should try to feel comfortable in our own skin, free from the need to be liked.

In conclusion, freedom comes from accepting and appreciating how others can enrich our lives. The void, that comes from the lack of freedom, when we make the mistake of choosing to be prejudice when it comes to accepting the value from the unique experiences of us all can imprison us and restrict our life experience and values. Surely, freedom comes from a mind that is accepting of others, a mind that understands that all behaviour, feelings, thoughts and the influence it has comes from the valuable experience of others. Even if that characteristics are not nice to experience, we must appreciate the perspective of others, as a background of knowledge from life that adds value to our own. After all, is it not possible, that some we know and love, or even ourselves, could experience a similar turn of events in our own lives. Also, when we are free from the recognition of others we are free to choose how we feel (Kishmi and Koga, 2017). Boundaries are created by money, religion, our legal system and many other things. Some of these boundaries can become less necessary if people have what they need.

References

Koga, F. and Kishimi, I. (2018). The Courage To Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness. George Allen & Unwin.

4 thoughts on “What is Freedom?

  1. Freedom from a religious point of view

    People in the world from many parts desire equal rights and freedom. Freedom to say what they want and to choose what they desire also to live the way they want. Some go to the extent of arranging protests and revolutions to get freedom. However most of the time these positions assumed often lead to more suffering even death. King Solomon’s words at Ecclesiastes 8:9 which states that “Man has dominated man to his harm” are true. James 1:25 says “the one who peers into the perfect law that belongs to freedom and continues in it will be happy in what he does”. The Bible tells us what we need to do to be truly happy and feel satisfied. The perfect law quoted in that scripture comes from Jehovah God himself. He knows what is best for us in order to be happy and satisfied. Our first human parents were endowed with true freedom and everything they needed to be happy. We learn at Genesis chapters 1 and 2 that Adam and Eve had the kind of freedom most can only dream of. They did not have to worry about work, food, sickness or death they were perfect, however their freedom had limits.
    The ability to make choices and carry them out defines freedom however true freedom does not mean we can do whatever we want without worrying about consequences, limits are necessary in order for everyone to enjoy freedom.
    It is important to note that only God Jehovah has absolute unlimited freedom, why? well Revelations 4:11 states that he created all things thus deserves the honor and glory. In contrast to Gods freedom his creation in heaven and on earth have limits i.e they have relative freedom. Limits set by God are fair, reasonable and necessary. Some of the limits set by God for Adam and Eve of which we still enjoy today are limits that feel natural for example, to keep living we need to breathe, eat and sleep however these limits do not make us feel restricted when performed. Adam and Eve were given a clear command at Genesis 2:17, not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and bad. Some may wonder whether that command was unfair, unreasonable or even unnecessary or whether it took their freedom away? Not at all. Many Bible scholars agree with the command and say it was very wise and makes sense as God knows what is good and bad for humanity. Their disobedience lead to their losing that true freedom bestowed upon them. True freedom here means the freedom Adam and Eve enjoyed before they sinned even though they were suppose to obey God’s Law which was not restrictive because God has the right to decide what is good and bad for humans and he had blessed them with free will, the gift to choose to either do bad or good..note- the difference is in the wording God has the right to DECIDE what is good and bad but humans have the right to CHOOSE either to do bad or good.
    It is critical to note that although humans were created with free will God did not give humans the ability to decide for themselves what is good or bad Jeremiah 10:23 confirms this which states “that man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to man who is walking even to direct his step” God is the only one who can set limits for humans.
    God did not leave us hopeless though, true freedom can be regained. He gave us a provision through which we as imperfect humans can regain true freedom that was lost by the first human couple. This is through his son Jesus Christ. At John 8:31.32, Jesus said “if you remain in my word you are truly my disciples and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free”. In order to have this true freedom we only need to do two things according to Jesus. One, accept the truth that Jesus taught and second become his disciples. But freedom from what one may ask? John 8:34,36 summarized points to freedom from sin. Sin enslaves and limits us from true freedom. Sin causes us to do bad things, preventing us from from doing what we know is right or doing our best resulting in frustration, pain, suffering and eventually death. Only when sin is completely removed will we then be able to enjoy true freedom which is promised in the coming new system of things on a paradise earth through Jesus and Gods Kingdom Daniel 2:44. In it as promised by God at Revelation 21:4 “tears will be wiped from our eyes and death will be no more neither mourning or outcry or pain be anymore for the former things will have passed away”. True freedom will have been restored.

  2. Freedom is waking up every morning knowing that you are surrounded by beautiful positive people that would never hurt you. Freedom is having seen and experienced so many of life’s injustices and knowing that my life has been enriched by it and that even if being rich would be nice, it would never fulfil me as such.
    Freedom is being able to share love as I share with you without fearing that you would misjudge me.
    Freedom is not holding grudges and being able to say sorry and mean it.
    Freedom is daring to be different, outgoing and loud.
    And finely freedom is feeling my heart beat and taking in the air we breath and having the wisdom to realise that life is short and one must let the positive always overcome the negative 🤪❤️😘

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