Freedom! But from and for what?
January 22nd, 2013 by Agent Kevin Miller
I’m giving an answer at the bottom, and I believe it will give some clarity to an area which gets a lot of attention, but very little action, due to a very vague notion of what freedom really is and how it tangibly relates to us.
Scroll right to the bottom if you desire to see what I’ve offered, and…if you agree. If you’re not sure you agree, read what’s in between here and there, then…comment. Let me (and all the readers) hear your take.
At our core, we want freedom.
- the absence of constraint in choice or action
As children…freedom is what we are born desiring. As we age we often find ourselves desiring levels of captivity and imprisonment, but this is merely a result of pains and fears we’ve incurred. It doesn’t thwart the truth of our soul’s natural inclination and desire for…freedom. Anyone who has had children or spent time around them must admit, we were born desiring and EXPECTING freedom. 90% of my small children’s crying is a direct result of constraint against their choice or action. The other 10% is from a real or imagined physical pain.
This truth plays out in every epic story and movie. Good vs Evil…fighting for freedom from things that constrain or threaten to constrain us.
Today, are you free?
The answer is no. We’d like to think so, as we live in a ‘free’ culture and assume freedom of choice. Which by far-and-large is in fact true, though there are always exceptions. I found out when I bought land that I’m not in fact…free. I can’t build anything I want. Anything erected must pass stringent code. This pissed my off greatly. Not that I was going to build a house out of dead bodies or anything (we went with straw bales instead, much easier to get and better insulation), but it just angered me to not be…free. Free to do as I chose.
But most of our lack of freedom is self-imposed. We bought the stuff we now owe on, we hired ourselves out to the company, we initially agreed to the lifestyle…
Or wait. Was it mostly self-imposed?
As a young kid, were you ‘free’ not to go to college? In growing up in homes of traditionally employed people working at things they care nothing about other than making a buck, were you ‘free’ to pursue a passion or work at something you truly cared about? If you were raised in a city and neighborhood and all your experience is within there, were you free to seek out new places and different lifestyles?
You can debate this, but in truth…it’s relevant to contemplate the fact that you have not been free to partake of and participate in many, many things. Things you may long for today, consciously or subconsciously.
Examples: On a soft note, my children have not been free to eat meat aside from fish, simply because those who provide their food do not buy it. They’ve not been free to watch TV and be ingrained in the mainstream media their friends enjoy, cause their parents don’t pipe it into the house. Many would say they’re deprived! On a hard note, there are children right here in our county who are not free to be safe from abuse, whether being on the receiving end, or just having to witness it and have the acceptance and reality of it hardwired into their psyche. Their freedoms in security and safety and peace have been taken from them.
We could write ad nauseum in this vein of what freedoms we were constrained from us in our upbringings and past. This is a worthy exercise for every individual.
But I believe it will prove out: We were born and bred FOR freedom. But we weren’t born INTO freedom. Not entirely. It’s impossible.
Today you’re where you are, much as a result of a path you were set out on with much not of your choosing. Again, not entirely.
So the question is, what do you want and need freedom from? What choices would you make or actions would you take if you were in fact…free? Free from the realities of your past and your present?
What you come out with will then provide the answer to the ‘for’ aspect of freedom. Freedom from ______, for ______.
My favorite term for what we truly want freedom ‘for’ is…our convictions:
- a strong persuasion or belief
- a fixed or firmly held belief, opinion, etc.
Freedom to just be lazy and unproductive and needless doesn’t last long and generally leads to moral decay. In our matured desires for freedom we desire meaning and purpose and to be needed.
This then provides us with the headline categories for our answers of what we want:
Freedom FROM what constrains us (some chosen, some forced), FOR our convictions.
What then constrains you?
What are your convictions?
Thanks for your feedback and counsel.