We read about freedom, dream about freedom, rejoice in the notion of freedom, teach, advocate, and hope for freedom, but what do we mean by freedom?
Freedom means many things to many people. We can view freedom politically, as having the opportunity to vote for particular people or parties which best represent our views. Closely tied to this is the notion of freedom of speech, where one has the liberty to voice their personal opinion or perspective. Others understand freedom in a financial context, where people seek to free themselves of financial debt, outstanding credit, and burdensome loans.
It could be the joy of waking up to a sunset or the bitter-sweet joy of watching the sun go down. It could mean a walk in the park or an hour of yoga. It could mean an evening out with friends or a day without the phone. It could mean a holiday or a shopping spree.
And as you visualize each of these actions, we realize freedom is not about what we do, but how we feel while doing it, it’s about the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved. It’s letting go, letting loose and basically breaking free of any shackles. Freedom is a feeling, not an action. It’s time we all identify our definitions of freedom to really experience it and to keep practicing it.
On a personal level it’s easier to find freedom because there is only one person who can help you achieve that – you! But what about freedom in the society? In our country? Why our mind still remains so heavily conditioned after so many millions of years? The mind is conditioned by society with its cultures, laws, religious sanctions, economic pressures and so on.
Freedom is when one can walk “freely” on the streets, feeling exactly how one would feel while running in the park. Freedom is being able to express one’s thoughts without worrying about the consequences. Freedom is not having to change yourself to “fit” into another family or group. Freedom is being able to live your life the way you want irrespective of gender, caste, marital status etc. Freedom is independence to think for oneself clearly and not to act according to the dictates of society.
And when we look at it that way, it makes us wonder if we really have achieved freedom. We may have won battles against outsiders, but we have so many to win against our very own people, our mindsets and oh all those stereotypes.
Our brave soldiers sacrificed their lives and brought freedom to our country, hoping to see a strong, free country. But we only gained freedom from the British rule but we are still under the rule of our past; past ideas, notions, values and beliefs. Maybe it’s time we all join the army and help in truly making the country a free country. And a free country starts with a free mind. The mind is, after all, the result of the past, and this past is tradition. Let’s move on to a free future. Let’s start by letting people around us live. The “live and let live” begins at home. With your children, with your spouse, with your friends. And then hopefully the country will catch up and one day we’ll celebrate the true meaning of independence.
This blog is based on the following article –