World Freedom Day
World Freedom Day
Most of us know what freedom is and take it for granted but it's one of the greatest gifts human civilization has to offer. Having the privilege to decide how you spend your own time on this planet; it is a luxury enjoyed by too few, this life without oppression. Everyone longs to possess it or at least the idea of it and is the precursor to other concepts like justice and equality. This leads me to inquire, what exactly is this unbound liberty we call freedom?
The chance to pursue ones imagination seems to be a right we take for granted. However, the right to be free has been hard fought and slowly gained over time. Before the 18th century most lives were difficult, miserable and short. People were more like victims to their environment and the will of their sovereigns than enjoying the control we have today, in most civilized nations, over our own destiny. Civilized societies prize freedom above all else, as it is the harbinger of all other rights. This hard fought privilege also has limits.
The license to do what one wants must be constrained within rules and regulations,even though this does seem antithetical to the right to be free. Freedom, to be valid, must be conditional to some agreed terms or we risk to fall into lawlessness. Everyone can drive a car but there are provisions, like age, testing and rules of the road, in order to prevent total chaos. Freedom is a privilege we grant ourselves but must be accompanied by discussion, debate rather than decree. When did this modern day notion of freedom appear?
I would say that this gift was brought to us via 18th century discourse beginning in Scottish universities and promulgated around the world within concepts that liberates humanity and generates a foundation for reasoned thought and a particular set of rules that has accelerated the progress of Western societies. The freedom of expression is at the heart of who we are today. However, with freedom comes responsibilities.
It takes efforts to be free, when offered a choice,it is difficult to actually ponder a reasoned answer, much easier to go with the flow and accept a dictate that promises a certain security. The trick is to pick your battles and stand up for what you know to be true but always be prepared to be proven wrong. Snuff said mates and happy freedom day.