What is freedom?
Is freedom absolute?
To what extent can an individual be said to have freedom?
Freedom generally means having the ability to act or change without constraint. Something is “free,” if it can change easily, and is not constrained in its present state. It is associated with having Will, and being without undue or unjust constraints, or enslavement. A person is said to be free when he has the freedom to do things that will not, in theory or in practice, be prevented by other forces.
Recently, I was involved in a discussion with some teenagers and how they thought at a certain stage of their lives, they’ll be free to do whatever they wanted, and however they wanted. I have no disdain to this line of thought, because we all thought that way at some point and probably still do.
So my passing out Parade from the Nigerian Youth Service Corp was few weeks ago, and I had quite a lot going through my mind. First was the illusive freedom I have always desired with the believe that getting to this level will afford, and secondly, the question of “what next?”
I think life at different levels dishes some levels of liberty as we progress. These liberties are not far-fetched. What are liberties when on the other end is a load of consequences?
So you finished your primary school education and proceeded to High School. At this point, the weight of parental/teachers constraints is a bit relaxed. Tertiary institutions allows you more liberties. You can seemingly do as you wish. One of the pros of Tertiary institutions, is the freedom to do what you want which in like manner is a disadvantage.
The quest for freedom is innate in man. No wonder, we have tagged some rights as human rights such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association et al. Man at every stage is fighting for some sort of freedom. some are physical, psychological, spiritual or financial.
I think the quest for freedom only leaves one on a wild chase of an unmet reality. Freedom is an illusion. It is ghost chasing. This is because despite the supposed freedom, there are still unseen hands of constraints. while we can easily discountenance these hands, we cannot in fact run from the consequences.
Our freedom and liberties are pronounced in our individual and collective principles, laws and morals. According to Wendy Hui Kyong Chun; ‘Liberty is linked to human subjectivity..’
Such that, I may have the freedom of association but will rather not associate with every group or association I see. Or having the freedom of movement but I shouldn’t be everywhere. This is a testament to the fact that all things are permissible but not all things are expedient. The apex of our freedom is seen in our restraint. A man of freedom is one under authority being cognizant of the cause of effect of his actions and inactions.