Being Women

The Definition Of Freedom: ‘A Free State Of Mind’

The concept of freedom varies from person to person, leading to varied interpretations and a variety of definitions.

Definition is subjective and varies from person to person…

Is freedom the ability to do things differently without any coercion or restrictions, or is it more about the free state of mind and the ability to think independently? The definition of freedom varies from individual to individual. Freedom is about individuals being allowed to expand their abilities and reach their potential. It allows individuals to make choices and have their own sense of reason and judgement.

Freedom of individual vis-a-vis freedom of the nation

How is the freedom of an individual intrinsic to the freedom of a nation? A free nation allows an individual to fully develop their talent and abilities by having fewer constraints on them. While an individual is said to be free only if s/he resides in a free nation, this is how the concepts of individual freedom and national freedom are closely tied.

Freedom begins at home

Freedom begins at home, where we are taught how to think and behave. As children, we are made to learn to be obedient, which at times can mean giving up personal power and acting as per someone’s will. This way, at an early age, we are conditioned to believe that freedom means doing things that make others happy and avoiding anything that makes them unhappy. We grow up learning to live within these acceptable boundaries and end up spending most of our lives trying not to fit within them as adults.

Freedom to do simple things that may seem insignificant to some

Freedom to me means being able to put forth my views and opinions without any fear. Despite having gained freedom at many levels, we still see many people living in fear in various pockets of our society. Not everyone has the freedom to choose whom they can love, to drive, or to simply step out of their homes and wear something they want. Sometimes, freedom means being able to do very simple things that may seem insignificant to some but might mean a lot to others.

Freedom for women to live freely

Even in the 21st century, we come across a few countries where women are just about to be allowed to receive an education or are being allowed to drive. From time to time, we see heinous crimes being committed, especially against women. Doesn’t freedom entitle women to live their lives freely and do what they wish to? But they still feel trapped, trying to adapt themselves to conventional societal norms.

Women are often told to be confined to their roles as mothers, daughters, sisters, and wives. Isn’t she an individual by herself who has the right to choose what she wants to be and should not be called upon if she chooses to do something apart from the traditional norm? Just because she chooses to adapt herself to a particular role doesn’t mean she should be deprived of all the other freedoms and joys she’s entitled to.

Freedom is also for men

On the other hand, it’s often seen how men are looked down upon or considered effeminate if they show their emotions. A man crying out, being vulnerable, or expressing himself is considered a sign of weakness. It’s often seen that men’s mental health has been overlooked or underrepresented. It’s high time we break down the stigma surrounding mental health issues. How does being ‘soft’ make you less of a man? I mean, isn’t freedom the right to embrace ourselves the way we are and not be belittled for the choices we make?

Freedom to love

Having the freedom to choose whom to love is of utmost importance. Every year, we see pride parades being held all across the world. Closer home, we can see how homosexuality is a much-debated topic. Individuals who don’t fit into the conventional moulds of society are coming out, expressing themselves, and fighting for their rights. They are exercising their freedom to gain acceptance, recognition, and representation in society.

A human right

The right to freedom is essential because it’s a human right. India’s national struggle against colonialism is a struggle for freedom from foreign imperialist rule, to live a life of respect for freedom, to choose how to live according to law, to accept a job or business, to speak up, to advance, to live in any part of the country, and to live a meaningful life.

Freedom comes with responsibilities

While freedom is fundamentally important, it can’t be abused. It doesn’t mean the absence of rules and regulations. It comes with responsibilities, and when misused, it can lead to the encroachment of others’ rights. As individuals, we can promote and protect freedom by exercising our rights responsibly, respecting others’ freedom, being informed about rights, and educating ourselves about laws and systems to protect freedom. Civic participation, education, and peaceful advocacy are essential tools for promoting freedom.

Freedom allows us to make mistakes and learn

Freedom allows us to make mistakes and learn from them. Thus we see how freedom enhances the human spirit and doesn’t have a specific meaning. It carries a different meaning for every individual. Freedom is more about the need to feel free from within. Freedom allows us the opportunity to pursue happiness while ensuring our rights are protected at all times.

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2 Responses

  1. If freedom is balanced with responsibility, then it could definitely lead to a much better world. The writeup says it all. Well crafted.

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