Freedom

1

(University)

Everybodyhave their idea of freedom, not only this is an aspects that capturesmy attention and curiosity, but it is also a notion. To me the termfreedom or the idea of being free has been accorded differentdefinitions for a long period. This is because people all over theworld have their ideas about what freedom is. If a sample of lifeexperiences are considered, then it can easily be pointed out that itwould bias to confine the definition of this term to one possibleexperience. Whereas groups of people may experience freedom, thefeeling of freedom is a lot more individual and personal. Simply put,it is only an individual who can rightfully explain what it is tothem since they understand whether they have freedom or lack freedom.Consider the situation in Africa, for example, where nations foughttooth and nail for their independence from colonial rule. Eventually,they considered themselves free after emancipation from colonialism.Ideally, she gained freedom but is Africa free? With the increase incases of neo-colonialism and subsequent over-reliance on foreign andWestern aid and funding, can Africa be considered as having freedom?

Drawingfrom this argument, I can only give my personal definition offreedom. This is relying on my personal life experiences and thethings that I consider as potential ‘chains’. To arrive at mydefinition, I consider two dimensions the mental and physical, asessential determiners of freedom. The physical dimension more visibleand obvious and can be considered as the ‘tangible’ dimension. Itentails physical boundaries that curtail one`s freedom. For example,a prisoner is not free because he is behind bars and to add to that,there are guards constantly watching them. Similarly, there areplaces I may not access or things I may not do because there would bepeople or barriers to inhibit me. For example, I may never be free togo in and out of the White House as many times and I may wish. Somebarriers to freedom are understandable as the aforementioned case.However, in some cases these physical dimensions may beincomprehensible and annoying. The mental dimension entailsparticular details that significantly control or influence decisionmaking through manipulation of the mind. This includes things such aslaws, rules, expectations and regulations. For instance, I am forcedto act in a particular kind of way since that is what the societyexpects of me. The physical and mental dimensions exert control overwhat one does. As such, my definition of freedom would entailcountering these two dimensions through power. is, therefore,the power to exercise control over physical and mental barriers todecisions and actions.

Intalking about freedom, responsibility is tantamount. EleanorRoosevelt said that freedom demanded significantly huge requirementsfrom each and every person. She further explained that freedom camewith responsibility. This implies that if one has the power tocontrol fully his actions and decisions, then, one has to beself-guided in doing the right. If I had freedom, I would exploit it.I would do all the things that I have ever wanted to do. I would gointo the studios and sing without fearing that my voice what societywould think, I would perhaps stand and vie for political seatswithout fear of certain prejudices and I would walk in and out ofevery place with triumphant confidence. However, understanding myresponsibilities, I would control my decisions and exercise limits inutilizing my freedom such that my responsibilities do not nose diveto the worst as a result of my freedom. But then, that still begs thequestion is responsibility a mental barrier to freedom?