“I am free and lost in this freedom
Do you know what I mean by that?”
Freedom, in and of itself, is quite possibly the most valuable privilege one can have in the world.
Freedom, in and of itself, may be one of the most misunderstood and least understood ideas in the world.
Freedom, in and of itself, may be one of the most appealing concepts in the world.
Freedom, in and of itself, once attained may be one of the most difficult concepts, as an individual, to manage in the world.
Freedom is one of those things that should make you think long and hard about what, exactly, do you want? But, yet, many of us do not. And we should.
We should because, at its core, freedom is about liberty of self and what you want. I believe it was John Stuart Mill who stated that the individual “is the person most interested in his own well-being,” and that the “ordinary man or woman has means of knowledge immeasurably surpassing those that can be possessed by any one else.”
What this suggests is that, while freedom may have some societal demands and constraints, the real ‘rule of freedom’ comes from within each individual.
No fences. No boundaries. Not even a public compass … just one that resides in yourself. Well. This would suggest it could become easy to get lost.
Look. I am not suggesting society would ever permit all of us to actually decide how we wanted to define freedom for our own lives and live our Life in that self-defined way without any repercussions <and there would have to be as each of us pursued ‘our own wellbeing’>.
However. Because you can view from such a personal standpoint and a self interest standpoint it can become incredibly easy to start seeing your own path as <a> the path everyone else should be walking on and <b> the path which reflects the best definition of how freedom should be viewed. In that, well, it can become incredibly easy to get lost within your own views of what is freedom and how you may choose to use your freedom.
I tend to believe freedom is freeing AND constricting at exactly the same time. In addition. The only way to enjoy freedom is to actually do something with it and not just talk about it or enjoy it.
The secret to not being suffocated by freedom is the ability to use that freedom to create something <not simply being free>. I imagine another way of saying that is you can suffocate by not doing anything <or not choosing to choose to use your freedom>.
“The ability to convert ideas to things is the secret of outward success.”
Henry Ward Beecher
Ah. Therein lies the rub. Create from freedom.
Sometimes that can seem like creating something from nothing. Freedom encourages ideas and thinking but then … uh oh … Life kind of demands you convert your access to freedom into ‘something.’ It within that ‘demand from Life’ where most people abuse freedom … people choose not to choose.
Now. We do this all the time … choose not to choose. Oddly enough a shitload of people think this is actually exercising your freedom. Go figure.
Not doing something is an expression of freedom.
<scratching my head here>
Some people argue this is an excellent way that we exercise our freedom and flex our choice-making muscles. Either we actually do not make a choice at all or we delegate the choice-making to someone else <sometimes an expert – doctor, banker, service provider> or we just delegate the choice making into the “to be done later” file. In general we have good intentions … we do this because we do not want to invest the energy and time to make a ‘right decision’ <this actually becomes ‘not choosing’, or using your freedom, because of fear of not making the right choice … or using your freedom properly>. And, yes, it is ‘good intentions’ to intentionally avoid making a bad decision.
Sure. Using the overall excuse of “I am too busy” choosing not to choose can often seem to be the best choice because it can sometimes appear to then free us up to do something else. Personally I call bullshit on this type of thinking.
Freedom kind of has two levers or maybe an “on/off” switch … opt in or opt out. Either use your freedom or don’t use it. You either value your choice or you don’t. There really isn’t a lot of room in-between. And, yeah, people will argue with me on this but I am stating it this way because while freedom can far too often look abstract … in reality, in practice, it is anything but abstract.
Doing, action, is at the core of freedom itself.
I have traveled the world and seen freedom and no freedom.
I have traveled the world and seen the arguments and debates and fights over freedom itself <my freedom versus your freedom>.
But here is the deal.
The opportunity to choose is not all that matters. I say that because far too many people who actually have the opportunity <a> do not exercise their freedoms or <b> get bogged down on the debate & conflict of my freedom versus your freedom. Choosing is what matters where freedom is concerned.
That said. As I have said before … surprisingly, freedom is tough. And it is even tougher because you may never really know if you have used your freedom well or wisely.
But here is what I do know.
It will be how you use your freedom which will be immortalized. And, yes, everyone is immortalized. Either through your forgetfulness or lack of memorability or lack of choice or doing something … or how you cannot be forgotten or memorability through how you used your freedom and the choices you made. I say that because immortality will be the stories that are told about what you did with your freedom. That will be the final judge.
Hmmmmmmmmmmm … aybe that is why we get both lost and free within freedom. Given freedom we tend to hug tightly to any boundaries we find for fear of getting lost. But, assuming we actually ‘do shit’ and make choices using our freedom … more and more we start to get a feel for those boundaries and begin pushing them out. Simplistically we push them further and further away from ourselves. At some point if we push them far enough it will feel like there are no boundaries and yet we do not feel lost.
I imagine that is what some people would call “freedom.”Seeing boundaries yet pushing against them to stretch what can “be”. And, yes, I also imagine that it feels good.
“When you do something noble and beautiful and nobody notices, do not be sad.
For the sun every morning is a beautiful spectacle and yet most of the audience still sleeps.”