What Is Freedom?


"Without freedom no one really has a name."
--- Milton Acorda

Nothing is as precious as one's freedom. Dreams, aspirations and ideals mean nothing if one does not have the freedom to pursue them.

A lot has been done in the name of freedom. A lot has been said and written about freedom.

In the past six months, the world witnessed Tunisian uprising, Egyptian revolution and Libyan civil war. Thousands of people fought for freedom, hundreds of people lost their lives (for freedom), people are craving for freedom. But, what exactly is freedom? We are fighting for it, we are ready to die for it, we are craving for it, but, can we really define it?

Albert Camus thinks freedom is a chance to be better. Abraham Lincon calls it best hope of Earth. Epictetus says it's the right to live as we wish. For Moshe Dayan it's oxygen for soul. According to Urban Dictionary it's everything. And going by Oxford Dictionaries, it's power of self determination attributed to the will.

Everyone has different views about freedom. But somehow I am still not convinced because we can't really be fighting for a chance or hope. And the concept of everything is full of uncertainties. I don't think we are fighting for power of self-determination either. And as for the right to live as we wish, if we have the right to fight, then, how can we be denied the right to live as per our wish?

But the question still remains unanswered, what is freedom?

For me, freedom has a deeper and greater meaning. I think freedom is much more than just a right, it's a responsibility of doing what you think is good, not only for you but even for society. It is a state when one realizes their duties and starts respecting others' freedom.

Freedom is when we realize that we can do absolutely anything except force another person to follow us in our madness or our lust for life. Freedom is when we are no longer slaves to our desires, society, its expectations, luxury or slaves to a life we did not choose.

Freedom is when we have the courage to speak out what we know is true, do what we feel is right, and fight for what we think is unfair. One shouldn't really fight for freedom; rather, they should try to achieve it.

"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved."
--- Franklin D. Roosevelt

Copyright 2011 Priya Agarwal

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