What does it mean to be free?
The concept of freedom has been used throughout the centuries by countries and individuals as a reason for fighting back against those who would curtail their ability to do the things they wish to do, who wish to stop people from having the options to live life on their own terms.
The question is whether or not freedom is actually the end goal we should all be striving for.
Is all freedom good?
The obvious answer is no. In most countries, people do not have the freedom to do everything they want, and we are all happy about that. We don’t want people to be able to murder and steal just because they want to, we don’t want people to be able to dump garbage in our fresh water, or poison our land or air.
What is considered freedom to people is extremely subjective, and is dependant on the values of the culture they grew up in, and the way they were raised by their parents.
I think that the concept of freedom is outdated, and simply does not make any sense within a global society.
What we should be talking about is what is the maximum capacity for opportunity that we can provide to people.
What do humans need to thrive? What options do we need available to us as a species, the environmental inputs required so that we can all grow to our maximum potentials while mitigating to the best of our abilities the downfalls that can go along with that.
We want our kids to be able to go to the park without being guarded like prisoners, we want them to be able to play and even get hurt so that they learn to adapt to pain and failure, but we also do not want them to be able to get into such a degree of trouble that they get seriously injured or die.
We want to give them the maximum opportunity to grow without allowing the worst parts of our nature to come to the fore and get them or others hurt.
Simply taking that concept and bringing into adulthood, politics, education, physical and mental health will shift the entire focus of our way of living.
Right now people have a do or die mentality. It’s either everyone needs to be protected from every possible thing that can hurt their feelings or we need ultimate freedom to do every damn thing that pops into our heads.
Finding a balance is difficult, but it’s the most important task we have ahead of ourselves. The future of our children and their children depend upon our ability to take the time to sit down and have deep, complicated, uncomfortable conversations about freedom and what it means to be a human in the 21st century.
We have the responsibility to get out of our heads, not let fear control us, and do this deep work together as a species.