FreedomWhen I think of the word freedom, I denote it self-consciously it with words such as slavery, confinement and bondage. Thesewords don’t have as much meaning to me as they would have if I coulddescribe my life with them. They do have many negative connotations, whichI clearly understand, but as for self-relation of these words, there isnone. But stepping back and examining the bigger picture, which they relateto, being freedom, I realize that the words I relate to freedom are onlypebbles in the pond to understanding its complete meaning.
The wordsslavery, and confinement are thought of in terms of their physicalconnotations. They bring up events such as the holocaust, black slavery,and prisoners of war. It is true that these words do relate to freedom inthese terms, but there are other, more unrecognizable forms of enslavementthat exist. These other forms are mental enslavement and psychologicalenslavement, which because of our obliviousness and ignorance, exist allaround us in our society.
Freedom to me, is being rid of those metaphoricalchains around us. Unfortunately, freedom of the body, mind, and psychearen’t all excepted as “true” freedom everywhere around the world, and wecan relate this to many events in the history of the world. To some, freedom has been a boundless life in whichthere existed no consequences for actions. However, this is not truefreedom! True Freedom even has its borders and boundaries.
There is a veryfine line between freedom and privilege, and privilege and choice. Truefreedom exists at the middle of a spectrum where it has reached itsequilibrium. Unfortunately, many people who believe they have been freebefore, have only been free on the left or right side of the spectrum. Truefreedom means being able to feel and think the way you wish to, and beingable to do things to compliment these feelings and emotions.
However,physical freedom to do whatever you want to whomever you want is not truefreedom, it is absolute power. Unfortunately, because of these boundarieson freedom, it may never reach its equilibrium, since there are people whowant to have bad things happen to other people. In many ways, this ties inwith peace. However, true freedom and peace do not exist within the sameconditions, therefore making it even more difficult to picture such a worldwhere both are present. But, at least we have the freedom to imagine such aplace, which is in itself a doorway to eternal bliss.Events in our past have set examples of how powerfulpeople have misinterpreted freedom and abused their privileges.
Suchexamples of confiscation of freedom and slavery are the Jews 5000 yearsago, read of in the bible, the the North American slave trade just 150years ago, and the holocaust in World War II. When you look at who remainsresponsible for these instances of slavery and confiscation of freedom,most of the time we can point to one individual. These individuals comeinto two lights. Some of these individuals simply misinterpret freedom andthus abuse their power and privilege and in creating their “ideal” freedom,steal away other’s. Then again, we have some who knowingly manipulate thetrue meaning of the word freedom to suit themselves and use their power totake away other’s. Just as it was during all these oppressive ages inhistory, today, we the people of society choose ignorance over knowing andfighting for the cause. It is because of so many people choosing the lifeoblivious to other’s suffering, that it goes on without yield. MahatmaGandhi once said “Freedom is not worth having if it does not connotefreedom to err.
It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they everso experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings ofthat precious right.” Mahatma Gandhi fought for his freedom and the freedomof his people because he chose to take recognition of it and thus not allowit to go on.Freedom, is a simple word. But, this simple wordowns it’s own world of complexities. It holds very many connotations,denotations, and forms.
Before we try and understand the true nature of theword. We must first grasp the idea that true freedom lies at the middle ofa spectrum. Furthermore, freedom does not come without it’s own boundaries.We must strive for this equilibrium. Without true freedom, there is nopoint in living. Freedom of speech, thought, feeling, and doing are whatmake true happiness. And if ones freedom for these things does not createhappiness for others, then it is not true freedom, just an obscureinterpretation.
Thus, it is ignorance which halts our progression in thefight for true freedom. For those who choose a blissful life of ignoranceare only stealing away their own freedom from thinking and learning. Untilwe reach true freedom, we are still living on one of the sides of thespectrum, and while on one of the sides, oppression will always exist.Oppression of thought, existence and feeling.”None are so hopelessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they arefree.”–Johann Wolfgang von Goethe