Sunday, January 22, 2012

Freedom: Do we actually know what it is anymore?


I often find myself asking people, what is freedom.  The responses to this question are interesting and range from: being able to do whatever I want, to being able to live however I want.  And it really is true.  In our republic today we have people who have taken freedom to concepts that thirty years ago we would never have been able to imagine.  The fight for LGBT rights, gun control, and healthcare have been incredible to watch.  But why are we fighting for anything if we are truly free?
So in any question I ask I turn to the dictionary to get definitions.  According to Merriam Webster freedom is defined as:

A: the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.
B: liberation from slavery or restraint or from power of another: independence.
C: the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous (freedom from care)
H: unrestricted use (gave him the freedom of their home)

I’ve always found this definition to be lacking because in the dictionary you find the technical meaning, but you miss the spiritual meaning of the word.  Freedom cannot be separated from responsibility and anytime they are parted you have no freedom, instead you have suffering.

For instance if there were the dictionary’s definition of freedom in gun control then the only person who would have “freedom” is the person who had the best gun and gun skills around.  They would make the law according as they saw fit for they would have the power necessary to do so.

So freedom for one equals slavery for others.  This is otherwise known as lawlessness.  We have laws in place to protect our individual rights so that we are not taken over by the man with the big gun.
Well what happens when the society themselves adopts the guns for themselves for protection to the point that nobody can really do anything with the gun?  They barely can protect themselves or their rights?  Or they simply elect that nobody can have the guns anymore?  This is known as slavery.  

Slavery and lawlessness are two heads of the same coin of unrestricted freedom.  And as a result these forces tend to destroy not just people, but societies, and worst of all worlds.  We can see it in the very struggles for freedom within America.  Gay rights are not about a woman marrying a woman or a man marrying a man, but being treated as every other citizen is to be respectfully treated.  Gun control shouldn’t be about disarming the people who want to protect themselves, but about teaching people about how to thoughtfully handle a weapon.  And we need a healthcare system in place so that we may have peace of mind about our families.

Liberty without Security is lawlessness,
Security without liberty is slavery,
Only when both are balanced and in harmony can there be freedom.

So please ask yourselves as you read this, what do you really want for freedom?  Are you trying to create the world you want to live in, or a world for all of us to live in?  I for one want a world with as much diversity and beauty as there can be.  A world where freedom is unrestricted because the people care too much about each other to live without law or enslave another.  Is that too much to ask?  Probably, but if we don’t ask for it, how can we ever achieve it?

You might wonder why I’m writing this when I’m reporting about my writing goals.  It has to do with an addiction I have to video games.  If I start playing the right one I have a very hard time stopping even to do things that I want to do, such as write.  I’ve spent most of this week playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and it has been awesome.  But my writing has suffered to the point of having written nothing for goals since Wednesday.  So in order to free myself from the self imposed bondage I’ve put myself into, I’m staying away from playing it for the duration of today and making a new ROW80 goal.  I will only play video games up to twelve hours a week from now on.  Perhaps this doesn’t seem like it is working for that goal of the world I want, but that world begins inside of me.  If I am not unfettered of what powers I allow to enslave me, how can my writing ever help anyone to free themselves?

My other goal is to catch up on what I have missed out on writing by the time of the next check in.  Which is not only possible, but exactly what will happen.  That I promise.

Thanks for reading.  Feel free to leave your comments below.  I love reading them and enjoy the opportunity to communicate with our community.  Peace.
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