We just celebrated our 75th Independence Day and amongst the spate of congratulatory and celebratory messages on the social media, it got me thinking.
What does Freedom actually mean to me?
At different life stages, it meant different things to me, Freedom is not a concept carved from stone; it is malleable and personal, always shifting shape depending on where you find yourself.
Freedom means to have the right to do and say what you like. This is at least how the dictionary explains freedom.
Freedom truly means giving equal opportunity to everyone for liberty and pursuit of happiness.
Personal freedom is one of my top values. My personal definition of freedom is the ability to act based on my convictions without external restriction or retribution. It is the ability to represent myself as I see myself to be, not having to hide or disguise who I am in order to pursue happiness, fulfillment, and growth.
It is the power of free self-expression.
And, with free will comes moral responsibility – our ownership of our good and bad deeds.
There are boundaries to freedom – My actions should not hurt others or restrict their personal freedoms, and so this is the dance of conscience. Will what I want conflict with what others want or need is the constant question which we need to answer.
Pope John Paul II said that “Every generation needs to know that Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but having the right to do what we ought.”
However, whenever I think of freedom, the first thought which comes into my mind is of Gratitude – gratitude to those who lived selflessly and sacrificed their life to get us here and now, gratitude for those who ensure that we continue to enjoy our Freedom.
Freedom for me, is the ability to make Choices and to carry them out, as long as they show no unjust, unnecessary or unreasonable limits of others’ freedom.
Freedom for me, means the right to choose; I can choose my friends, my actions, my life, my career, my religion.
What freedom means to me is also, not being judged by what I do and what I say.
Next, freedom is a matter of great joy and pride for me – to bask in the feeling of having been born in a free nation and continue to do so.
Freedom is constantly evolving and each of us are a part of this evolution and need to contribute towards it, as it all starts with self.
Going forward, I pray to the almighty and shall strive for freedom from envy, greed, malice, hatred, regret, vengeance, self-pity, ignorance, unwanted desires and top of all, I hope and shall make a concerted effort towards freedom from negativity.
Finally, for me ‘Freedom is a chance to be better – together.’
Lets cherish and respect our freedom,
Lets make it evolve and grow and stay blessed forever.