I had a thought. It was a small thought. I let it grow, gave it room to breathe. I let it go where it needed to go, do what it needed to do. I hoped that it would lead me somewhere special, show me something I had never seen, or give me a new view on an old idea.
It didn’t let me down.
But this isn’t that thought, this is a small side thought to the one I had.
The side thought was a question. What is freedom?
Is it unfettered ability to do as you like? I thought about what a world where that rule existed would look like. It would be hell, an unmitigated disaster. Why? Evil exists in the hearts of adults all over. Not everyone is the mature adult they think they are. People hurt people for a myriad of reasons. Unfettered freedom in the truest sense of the word is freedom for everyone to do as they like, there is no concept of repercussion for actions against the freedom or lives of others. That is not real freedom, not what most people call freedom. Freedom of that type is not freedom, but license, or even better said, social Darwinism.
That freedom is the freedom to live in fear, the freedom for the strong to crush the weak, the freedom to have to fight just to survive. If you live in that world, you don’t live in the real world, and your dreams are evil, and you are what your dreams make of you.
But freedom surely cannot be fettered can it? Freedom cannot live in chains, can it?
Well… Not in the purest sense, not when speaking about the above mentioned version of freedom, but we now know that that isn’t real freedom.
Freedom can live in chains though, for the mind can be free even if the body is chained. No chains can hold a truly free mind. You can take away a persons right to free speech, freedom of religion but you cannot touch the mind. No one can make anyone think what they want, thought and belief are inherently free.
So, again, what is freedom? It seems that since it isn’t unfettered freedom of action, since that can cause great harm in the hands of self-absorbed, or careless, or sick or stupid people, and it clearly isn’t the polar opposite of that, freedom isn’t Orwellian like that, freedom is NOT slavery, it must live somewhere between these two.
What lies between these two? A place where some things, like the right to unnecessary harm, real and perceived, strong-arm tactics and the like are given up in the name of peace and security of all individuals. It is a place called responsibility. Freedom is, at it’s heart, the concept of responsibility projected from the individual level onto the societal level. It is treating with the world in a manner which you would like to be treated.
Seems that freedom is a very Christ-like, if not a Christian concept.
There is more, but I’ll leave the rest for a later date. I think I’ll toss the main thought I had out tomorrow, If I remember it. 🙂
I don’t know why I get the urge to write stuff like this. Sometimes I think it sounds stupid and pedestrian, barely good enough for a 9-year-old reader, but I feel the need to write it, nonetheless. From where I sit, it seems that most people don’t even have a basic idea of what they think of even the most basic principles on which they base their principles and even existences.
So I provide mine, as a blueprint, the most basic of outlines, upon which the world can build thoughts on. I’m silly like that.