‘Freedom’ as a concept and value has caused me to think a great deal today, which is why I haven’t put my fingers to the keyboard until this evening.
I asked someone close to me what they thought of when I said the word freedom and they said hanging out with their friends, going to Brighton and shopping in their favourite shops. When I asked if they felt they had lost their freedom now, I expected them to say no, but they didn’t. They said that they did feel free, so that made me wonder if freedom is perceived and based on our circumstances?
I’m inconvenienced by the current lockdown but I don’t know that it has lessened my freedom. I feel free and I wonder if that is because freedom is in fact a state of mind. I am still free to think what I like, do what I want and act how I wish. Yes, there appear to be limitations to my freedom – I can’t go out as much as I would like to – but does that mean that I do not have freedom?
Early on Saturday morning
I haven’t been able to sleep as I have been considering ‘freedom’ so much. Above were my initial ramblings about it, which I published yesterday. Soon after publishing it though, I reverted it to draft form again because something didn’t sit right with me – thus the sleeplessness.
Defining freedom as a state of mind felt too simplistic and naive and that bothered me. After a whole night pondering, I realise that there is a naivety in my understanding of freedom because this understanding comes from a place of never being shackled. I live in a democratic country where there is freedom of speech, religion, information, press and so on. I don’t live in fear of being arrested for my creed, colour, religion, denomination, nationality or race. So, even in lockdown I am free to do what I wish as long as I stay 2m away from people and don’t go out for non-essential reasons. That really doesn’t cause me to lose my freedom.
This led me to further musings – if I did live in fear of being arrested for my creed, colour, religion, denomination, nationality or race, would I consider freedom as being purely a state of mind? If I lived in an autocracy or dictatorship, would I even understand the concept of freedom? Would I have the courage to think or act differently when doing so could result in dire consequences?
Freedom causes me to ask more questions than provide any cohesive thoughts on the subject and I’m sorry about this. So I will leave you with the thoughts of others in the hope that this will help you to come to a better understanding about what freedom is, than I have.