Freedom “from” vs Freedom “for”

Oluwagbemi Amojo Written by Oluwagbemi · 1 min read >

The common consensus is that we are “free” as human beings; yet, there are repercussions to every decision we make, which raises the issue of whether we are really free.

Inasmuch as our decisions have an impact on our identity and character, we become the products of those choices. As a result, it is essential that we exercise caution in deciding how to make use of our freedom. Coming of age and starting to exercise our independence, we want to be free of as many restrictions as possible (parents, restricted finances, curfews, etc.) as soon as feasible. The haste with which we seek freedom “from” or do as we want impacts our freedom “for,” which should be given more importance.

Obtaining freedom “for”

Obtaining freedom “for” sets us apart as individuals who are capable of greatness on a variety of levels. We must realize that every time we attempt to be free from something, we should be motivated by a desire to be free for something else. For some individuals, achieving independence “from” a restriction is a lifetime struggle, particularly when the restraint is financial. When faced with such adversity, our capacity to take a stance becomes critical. “When is the best time to pursue further education in order to get a better job than the one we now hold?” we may question ourselves as an example.

If we continue to pursue freedom “from,” we increase the likelihood of losing ourselves. This prevents us from building on our freedom “for,” thus restricting our reach and options. We seem to be going about in circles, escaping one obstacle just to be confronted with another. There is no such thing as true freedom in this case.

In the end, while we seek freedom, we should ask ourselves what we want to do with the freedom. When it comes to spending our freedom, we must use our intellect, since we are human. The pursuit of freedom for the sake of short-term gains only is equivalent to squandering freedom.

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