Freedom! Are we really free?

Abiodun Akinlawon Written by Abiodun Akinlawon · 1 min read >

Freedom has always been a concept which we all wanted since we became self-aware. For example. children would like to exhibit their freedom the moment they understand the concept of choice. When they know they can choose to either have cereal or oatmeal, when they can choose playing in the garden or playing video games. So, the moment they feel certain restraints such as their parents deciding what they do or not, they begin to desire freedom. How else do I show that I’m a big girl? Right?

Unfortunately, being free doesn’t entirely mean we are to be without guidance, for if we then act recklessly, without certain guidance, we will eventually lose the whole essence of the freedom which we so desired in the first place.

Let’s take as an example, a young boy, Dave. After his secondary school education, Dave believed it was then time for him to live his life according to his rules, damning any consequence that his actions might result to. Ignoring any form of advice and guidance from his parents and acquaintances to either further his academics or learn a trade so he could then pave a path for his ambitions, he wasn’t interested in following anything that looked like a script, and he just wanted to go with the flow of whatever life threw at him. But unfortunately, life is not fair. After a couple of years, without direction, no means of income, and feeling left behind, he then figured that his current state was as a result of all the unguided choices he had made earlier in his life.

When talking about freedom, there are two concepts we should have in mind. The Freedom from and The Freedom for.

Freedom from refers to the freedom we experience when we are free from constraint. An example is a young lady that has just gotten her own apartment away from the constant monitoring of her parents and now she has the independence to live on her own by her own rules.

Freedom for however, can be explained using a scenario where a young man is faced with several options of choosing a career path in engineering, medical sciences, finance, entertainment, and so many others. At the point where he has all these options to choose from, in this scenario, so far, he has not made any choice yet, he is totally free. He can even decide not to go with any of the options available to him and create a new path for himself. However, the moment he decides to go with a particular option. Let’s say he decides to become an engineer, all the efforts, energy, discipline, time and any other resources he dedicates to become exceptional in that chosen field of his is referred to as freedom for, because at this point, he becomes an expert in that field where he does not have to worry about how to overcome any challenge he might encounter in that path he has chosen.

I will close by reminding us that regardless of how we crave being free, and the entire concept of freedom. We shouldn’t forget the place of discipline and not to forget that whatever we become is as a result of the consistent choices we have made over the years.

Man’s Freedom

Chinyere Monye in General
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