Freedom (A Fourth Of July Special)

Is there such a thing as freedom? Having asked different people what freedom means to them, their answers come in many different forms, but surprisingly, everyone seems to have something to complain about. I guess freedom can mean different things to different people and those things have never really been accomplished to the fullest extent. Are we truly free? What does having freedom mean?
Freedom Should Mean Being Free From Pain
One of the persons I asked told me that there is no such thing as true freedom because we're not free from being human, that though we experience joy, we also experience tragedy. She had a point. For as long as we are human, we are subject to the joys and pains of living in an imperfect world. I guess freedom for her is being free from sadness and misery. Who wants to be sad and miserable anyways? Why can't it all be perfect? When will we be free of our pain and imperfections?
Freedom Should Mean Equality
Another person I asked said that though we have greatly improved on individual freedoms, the big picture hasn't really changed that much. It appears that the more possessions one has, the more free one is. In this world, wealth means power and the poor will always be subject to the wealthy. She again had a point. In this world, when powerful people commit crimes, they somehow have a bigger chance of getting away with it but for the poor, there is no escape. I guess having been born and having spent most of my life in the third world has shown me this difference. Does freedom mean having wealth and power?
Freedom Should Mean Safety
A cousin told me that being free means being able to walk out of the door and know that there aren't people waiting outside to do you or your loved ones any harm. That as a woman, she doesn't have to hide her face and she can vote. I guess most of us can do that here in America, but at what price? Asking another cousin, I was told about a friend who died serving in Iraq last year. She said that we can all celebrate being free, but the freedom we all enjoy is the product of our forces risking their lives every day to allow us to keep doing the things we simply take for granted. I guess most of us are safe here, but what about the people we sent over to Iraq? What about the people we have deliberately put in harm's way to keep everyone in the mainland safe?
In My Opinion
True, we live in an imperfect world. We live in a world where we are subject to pain as we are to joy. We live in a world where freedom comes with a premium, and those who can pay the premium will be able to do more than those who cannot. We live in a world where somebody has to face death in order for others to be safe in their place. We live in a world where the things we take for granted are the same things that are so badly wanted and needed by persons on another side of the world. If that is how we will look at things, then there is no such things as freedom for us.
Having freedom means we can do what we want but why can't we? Why are we bound to so many rules? We will always have our own individual wants, but if we all did our individual wants, then there wouldn't be order. Imagine a world with no rules. We surely will all have never-ending blood feuds, things getting stolen all the time, and people too scared of even going out for fear of their own safety. If people were allowed to truly do anything they want, then that would be the end of freedom because we will all be bound by fear from our own doings.Freedom also means suppressing individual freedoms for the benefit of everyone. We don't each live alone on separate islands. We are social creatures and we therefore need each other to survive, and how more can we help each other to survive than by respecting and helping each other out?
In my opinion, the very fact that we have the ability to want freedom is freedom itself. The ability to change our perspective is freedom itself. The fact that we can find even just a little happiness even in the direst of situations is proof that freedom exists. We live in an imperfect world, but that does not mean that we can't do anything to improve it. We have the ability to go after the things that can make us happy, just as we have the ability to make others happy. We may not be socially equal, but we all are humans experiencing both joy and sadness regardless of whether we are rich or poor, man or woman. We are all born and we will all will come to pass and therefore in that sense we are all equal. We all have potential to do great good and great evil, and we can always do something to realize those potentials and that is freedom.
For as long as we are human, we are all are slaves of our own desires, prisoners of our own minds, subjects to our emotions. But, also as human, we can choose to be the master of ourselves. In order to be free, we have to know ourselves from deep within. We must understand that being human does not mean just giving up to our weaknesses and foolish desires. That being free means having control over our own perspectives and actions. The moment we learn how to master ourselves is when we become truly free because freedom is not only fought against external forces, but also from the darkness lurking within our own very own minds.

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