Appreciating One’s Freedom

When I think of the word freedom, I denote it self-consciously it with words such as slavery, confinement and bondage. These words don’t have as much meaning to me as they would have if I could describe my life with them. They do have many negative connotations, which I clearly understand, but as for self-relation of these words, there is none. But stepping back and examining the bigger picture, which they relate to, being freedom, I realize that the words I relate to freedom are only pebbles in the pond to understanding its complete meaning. The words slavery, and confinement are thought of in terms of their physical connotations. They bring up events such as the holocaust, black slavery, and prisoners of war. It is true that these words do relate to freedom in these terms, but there are other, more unrecognizable forms of enslavement that exist. These other forms are mental enslavement and psychological enslavement, which because of our obliviousness and ignorance, exist all around us in our society. Freedom to me, is being rid of those metaphorical chains around us. Unfortunately, freedom of the body, mind, and psyche aren’t all excepted as “true” freedom everywhere around the world, and we can relate this to many events in the history of the world.

To some, freedom has been a boundless life in which there existed no consequences for actions. However, this is not true freedom! True Freedom even has its borders and boundaries. There is a very fine line between freedom and privilege, and privilege and choice. True freedom exists at the middle of a spectrum where it has reached its equilibrium. Unfortunately, many people who believe they have been free before, have only been free on the left or right side of the spectrum. True freedom means being able to feel and think the way you wish to, and being able to do things to compliment these feelings and emotions. However, physical freedom to do whatever you want to whomever you want is not true freedom, it is absolute power. Unfortunately, because of these boundaries on freedom, it may never reach its equilibrium, since there are people who want to have bad things happen to other people. In many ways, this ties in with peace. However, true freedom and peace do not exist within the same conditions, therefore making it even more difficult to picture such a world where both are present. But, at least we have the freedom to imagine such a place, which is in itself a doorway to eternal bliss.

Events in our past have set examples of how powerful people have misinterpreted freedom and abused their privileges. Such examples of confiscation of freedom and slavery are the Jews 5000 years ago, read of in the bible, the the North American slave trade just 150 years ago, and the holocaust in World War II. When you look at who remains responsible for these instances of slavery and confiscation of freedom, most of the time we can point to one individual. These individuals come into two lights. Some of these individuals simply misinterpret freedom and thus abuse their power and privilege and in creating their “ideal” freedom, steal away other’s. Then again, we have some who knowingly manipulate the true meaning of the word freedom to suit themselves and use their power to take away other’s. Just as it was during all these oppressive ages in history, today, we the people of society choose ignorance over knowing and fighting for the cause. It is because of so many people choosing the life oblivious to other’s suffering, that it goes on without yield. Mahatma Gandhi once said “Freedom is not worth having if it does not connote freedom to err. It passes my comprehension how human beings, be they ever so experienced and able, can delight in depriving other human beings of that precious right.” Mahatma Gandhi fought for his freedom and the freedom of his people because he chose to take recognition of it and thus not allow it to go on.

Freedom, is a simple word. But, this simple word owns it’s own world of complexities. It holds very many connotations, denotations, and forms. Before we try