Not too long ago I attended a focus group who spoke on the subject, “what freedom mean to me”? There were three community leaders on the panel, and each were from different backgrounds. Each was allowed to express the meaning of freedom to them. All of their thoughts and answers were very meaningful and enlightening and gave a view freedom in a way in which I have never explored.
After listening to each of these panelists I came away with a different perception of the word freedom and what it can mean to individuals. Every panel member’s meaning was widely different from the other, prompting me to research the definition of the word freedom.
“A state of mind that can define how one’s chains are lifted but fails to address the needs of implementation.”
Definitions of Freedom
The definitions of freedom found on internet search engines will give you more insight into how we can perceive freedom and apply it to our everyday lives. It also gives us an answer to why its meaning differs from one individual to another.
Answering the Question
What freedom means to me can be placed made through one word, “Equality”. Before I can begin thinking of my freedom, I have to consider whether I have the equal ability to access and pursue those values that govern the society I live in. Removing the chains and building a fence around me does not give me freedom but gives me that false security of mobility. I am free from the chains, but I am limited to the confines of the area that I am fenced. When you remove the fence, you give me a social status that establishes that invisible barrier that confines me to the limits of what you and others think I can do or achieve.
I could continue on the above scenarios, but I would expect most of the readers of this post will see where I am going with this. Equality is the doorway to freedom in my opinion. Equality gives a level playing field to all, the ability the seek your desires without roadblocks, and the ability to fail or succeed at a rate in which you control. The ability to have the same access to the tools, places, information, and resources at the level of those around you. No hindrances, no special treatments, just the ability to have them available at the same rate as others under the laws and rules that govern us.
Freedom is that dream that pushes me daily to achieve equality. Freedom is that dream that keeps me vigilant in how I carry and present myself to my community. Freedom is that dream which informs me that it is not regulated by what I think should be, but what others think. Freedom is the one thing that gives me a quality of life that I can only hope to control while knowing it is controlled by forces other than myself. Without freedom, there is no me, just a shell or puppet of what is imagined of what I should be. With freedom, there is always the dream of what I can be, with the hopes of equality always in my reach.