What does freedom mean to you? This broad and general question is honestly, I think, one of the most important questions of our time. It’s this very question that drives many people to fight for what they believe in. Freedom to vote, freedom to get married to whomever you want, or maybe the freedom to speak our opinions without restriction on the internet. Whatever it is that you fight for, it’s a sense of freedom that we seek. However, what really is freedom? Its meaning differs depending on who you are and your idea of it might even change over time. We shout out for our freedom so often and yet, do we truly understand what it means to be free?
The dictionary definition of freedom is “exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.” By that definition, I’m sorry to say but all of you who are reading this are not truly free. In order to live in the countries that we live in, we have given up freedoms in return for protection and comfort. One-hundred percent true freedom is the essence of anarchy. Anarchy is just a chaotic mess however and the only one who benefits from that, are those who aren’t team players. Suddenly, the question itself has completely changed. We no longer ask, what is freedom but what freedoms am I willing to give up? This is where all the opinions start to become divided and now the idea we thought we all shared gets split into groups. We all want to be free, but what are we willing to sacrifice in order to get it? In America, during the Civil War, some were willing to give up others rights so that they could live better lives. Sometimes, the item up for sacrifice isn’t ourselves but others.
“Great achievement is usually born of great sacrifice, and is never the result of selfishness.” – Napolean Hill
That lies, I believe, one of the biggest problems in today’s world. We aren’t willing to take the burden, make the sacrifice, or take one for the team. We are centered on our own lives and how we can best profit or be happy, sometimes at others expense. Now there is one thing I want to make clear. Trying your best to be happy is a noble pursuit, one that we all chase. But do we really have the right to interfere with others lives to make it happen? To take away freedoms that we might not have had any right to take? And after all the taking and self-centered actions, what are we left with? I’ll tell you in plain terms, a way for the more emotional people out there and another for the more logical. Emotional people are easy to explain things to so this should only take a few words: ruining other peoples lives is bad and that’s bad for everyone.
Ok, now that they are taken care of let us get the logical people, who logically speaking, are a headache to get through too. Let me put this in terms of economics. When everyone is taking from everyone else, then, later on, there is nothing left to take. Items in an economy need circulation, for a healthy market, there is as much give as there is take. Should the supply drop, the demand rises and we are left with two-hundred dollar bagels. Obviously, no one wants to pay that much for a bagel. Do you understand now logical people? No? Let me compare those items then. If we continue to take opportunities from those around us without giving any in return, there won’t be any opportunities left to fix this. When you steal from a person or hurt a person what you are taking is their warmth, their trust in others. Recently in my life, I have had the luck to speak with and get the advice of those who were older than me. Their words are so logical and correct you can’t really deny them, their aged wisdom. So I look at their words and I understand their points and I know that maybe, they could be right. Maybe, I could be making a choice that’s harder than normal or maybe my chances of success are low. But all I hear when I see this advice is a person who has given in and lost their hope.
So what, if my chances are low? Why can’t I take that chance? The option is there and if I succeed I could be happy! Yet, you can’t allow me to try because my chances are too low? I hereby declare that I believe in all the slim possibilities! So what if we fail? It would be just horrible if we could learn and grow from suffering and pain, wouldn’t it? So what if we have only one life and we need to live it just perfectly? That’s a load of crap anyways, nothing is perfect and in the end, all we can do is try our hardest so why not give it a try? All the logic in the world won’t cure a cold and broken heart, you need something more than that. Which is why I’m here to tell you that, that is exactly what this world needs. The world needs to regain its trust and warmth. The bad memories won’t go away though. That is why, having learned from them, we continue to grow and should something similar happen again, we know exactly how to deal with it. Not with cold, calculated minds but with a creative approach and doesn’t ignore our own needs or the needs of others.
“I’ve learned that fear limits you and your vision. It serves as blinders to what may be just a few steps down the road for you. The journey is valuable, but believing in your talents, your abilities, and your self-worth can empower you to walk down an even brighter path. Transforming fear into freedom – how great is that?” – Soledad O’Brien
I’m here to convince you that the path to freedom for humanity doesn’t need to be paved with the lives with other. Hard work, sweat, trust, teamwork, and hope. Those are the foundation of what can make our world great. Don’t let the fear of bad memories stop you from achieving greatness. Some of the sharp observers of papers may have noticed that this went from one of my typical question essays to something closer to a reflection, or pep talk. That idealism is for a reason, however.
The paper started off talking about what freedom is to you and what you would be willing to sacrifice for your comfort and safety. However, there are as many answers as there are people and as a result, there isn’t a real true answer to that question. So I instead invite you to do something else. That is to free your mind. True freedom may not be achievable in a real sense in the external world. You can get pretty dang close to doing so however with yourself. Free your mind of fear, of ignorance, of hate. Once you can remove the chains that shackle your own mind, I believe you can start to make a real difference in the world around you. We try so hard to understand and influence the world around us and yet we don’t even truly understand ourselves. Why are you putting down others around you? What are you afraid of? Do you think they will steal the things you care about? Do you not believe in yourself enough to hold on to what you want to? How can you claim to understand a person’s life without asking them their story first? Why do you do the things you do? Why do you believe the things you believe? Because you were raised that way? What about your own experiences and opinions?
The path to freedom I believe lies in the freedom of ourselves. In order to free ourselves, we must first understand ourselves. In order to understand ourselves, we need to stop and look deeper than ever before. Ask the big questions, accept the hard answers, and take action. That is the first step, on this hard and arduous path.
Thank you for reading another one of my question essays. This one is almost close to one of my reflections but I felt the significance of the topic was too great to ignore. I feel these questions are the ones we need to ask ourselves if we want to make a change in the world. Even I am still trying my best to reflect on myself and learn better ways to be, well, better. I don’t think that there will ever be a time where I stop doing this either. Taking a moment to look at yourself is important if you want to know where you will be in ten years after all. Let me know what you think and if you have any ideas about what freedom is. I look forward to reading your responses.
Have a splendiferous day.