My last blog was on being incarcerated, so it is only fitting that this year I focus on freedom. What does it really mean to be free? The United States Constitution is based on freedoms, so I thought I would explore what some of these mean over the course of this year. Do you remember that song by Joan Baez where she claimed that freedom was just another word for nothing left to lose? Nothing is worth nothing. So let us explore that maybe freedom is an action word.
What is Freedom?
Freedom is the ability to make choices and act without fear or coercion. We are empowered to think, speak and act according to our values and beliefs. We can live in a way that allows us to be true to ourselves and to express our individuality.
Expression and Thought
The ability to think and express ourselves freely is perhaps the most basic form of freedom. The modern world, with all the various media platforms available, makes this easier than people of previous generations had.
Religion has long been a source of debate, as it has been used to control and oppress people for centuries. But what if we look at religion from a different perspective? Rather than trying to control people, religion can be seen as a source of freedom and enlightenment.
For those in bondage or slavery, freedom of thought is a distant dream, and it can be challenging to see a way out. This may or may be literal slavery, but we can become slaves to anything that controls us.
We have the freedom to choose our own path and create our own destiny and not be the victim of others’ control, enabling us to make decisions that are in our best interests rather than those of others.
Pursuit of Happiness
This was one of the Founding Father’s rights in the Declaration of Independence. The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human right closely tied to freedom. We can choose to do things that make us happy rather than being forced to do things that make us unhappy.
Travel and Movement
When free to travel, we can explore new places, meet new people and experience different cultures. We can also escape from oppressive environments or find new opportunities. There are often restrictions on movement, which may make this freedom challenging to attain.
Another essential aspect of freedom is the right to associate with whomever we choose. This allows us to form meaningful relationships and engage in activities aligned with our values and beliefs. Our social support network and happiness depend on this freedom.
This considerable freedom comes with responsibilities. Having access to resources and finances is essential for freedom. With them, we can pursue our goals and dreams and even make fundamental decisions about where we live or what we eat.
Permission of Self
It is the freedom to be ourselves, live on our own terms, and pursue our goals and dreams without fear or coercion. We can make decisions that align with our values and beliefs and take action that is in our best interests.
Freedom is an essential part of our lives, and it is something that we should all strive for.
So if the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free— John 8:36 [TLB]
Each month we will explore the deeper meaning of freedom in each category so we can better understand what it means to be truly free.
What does freedom mean to you? Please share your thoughts; they may be included in the blog posts.
Nice blog. Individual freedom is an interesting concept. It is what motivates much of our efforts to find a place to live where we are not told what to do, where to travel, and what to spend our resources on. This yearning for freedom is what underpins much of western civilization. And yet…
unrestrained hedonism leaves a trail of brokenness behind it, because we are fallen creatures, and that pursuit inevitably hurts those around us. True freedom ends up not being what we want, but what Jesus Christ wants for us. He sees the end from the beginning and knows the consequences when we put our own pursuit of personal autonomy ahead of His best for us.
Thank you! Yes, freedom also requires respecting others’ freedom; it is a balance, and February’s blog will explore the idea of freedom of thought and expression further.