The idea of freedom is an alluring one but the sad reality is that most of us aren’t free, and none of us really wants freedom because with freedom comes great responsibility. Now you’ll say humanity has progressed over the years and freedom has been achieved along the way, but the truth it that we have simply replaced the old cruel forms of slavery with new fabricated ones. It’s hard to believe there were times when man was sold at market places just like any other commodity. It’s also hard to imagine the kind of life women led in the past centuries; being considered far lesser than men, denied their rights and viewed as property to extreme lengths. Africa and a few other continents have had a taste of slavery by being colonized for many years, and when the colonizers left, they thought they had attained freedom and democracy, which has turned out to be a pure joke as the white colonizers have been replaced by their very own.
Today, physical slavery has been done away with and replaced by mental/psychological/spiritual/mind slavery which is more dangerous because we cannot see it. Every society has a recipe on how one should live and behave: we are all dictated by societal ideologies, customs and beliefs which are borrowed and followed without really questioning or doubting. Our whole system of raising children is one of slavery; just because a child is born into a particular family they have to adopt the religious, societal, and political ideologies of that family and are highly discouraged from thinking, questioning and doing something outside what’s recommended. The child’s elders can’t be blamed though, because their own parents did the same to them and it’s something that has been going on for generations: after all, how can enslaved minds teach freedom? Children are conditioned to seek approval and validation from the society, to follow the pattern because that is the safest and easiest route whose outcomes are known, to follow ideals whose roots they don’t know, to repress their true nature which goes against what is required of them and to strive to be at the top/special/unique/extraordinary…and for what? So they could matter in the society, get attention for it or prove something?
The idea of freedom…
Freedom means being able to think for yourself and refusing to go by what you are told or what everyone else is doing until you find the why behind it. Society doesn’t want you to think, it wants machines who do what they are told and never question ‘why’ because once you start questioning you will see the lies and absurdities you have been feeding on. To question means you are willing to step out of the crowd mentality and stand alone; Socrates questioned and it got him poisoned, Jesus questioned and it got him crucified…and at the end of the day, those were the people who brought about change by dismantling the lies people lived in. So before you do anything or adopt some way of life, it’s really important to question why you are doing it, whether you are doing it out of your own accord or simply following the masses because everyone else is doing it.
Freedom means contentment with your own approval, validation, along with self acceptance.When your actions depend on outside approval and evaluation , then your life isn’t your own and it’s society pulling your strings. Once you stop caring about outside validation, then you will find the courage to truly live your life to the fullest and can be yourself without repressing anything. Letting go of societal validations, expectations and ideas will enable you to find your own individuality. You are not your beliefs, or your occupation, or your money, or your looks, or what you can do for others, or your religion etc…all those are just society-acquired personalities, your true individuality is what you are when all that is shed away. The word personality is of latin origins meaning a ‘mask that produces sound’, so everyone in the society is wearing a mask and they think it’s who they are, but the moment you take off the mask you will find your true individuality. It’s better to let go of what you think you are, the labels, the ideals and beliefs: that will be the first step towards psychological freedom and awareness of self.
Freedom means learning to not impose your ideas on other people, not taking offense when people don’t agree with your opinions, not trying to convert people to your ideals at any given chance, and the ability to look at new situations without any judgement. You may think your opinion is a fact, but so will the next person. And the fact is, everyone has their own idea of what is good/bad, right/wrong, beautiful/ugly…which all vary depending on their environment, upbringing, society, conditioning, and education system. So whatever you think is a fact might not be a fact at all, even in the world of science; what scientists thought was a fact yesterday can be disapproved tomorrow by new findings. By judging, you are simply projecting the very ideas you have accumulated from your society to the other person and that only makes you close minded and nothing else. Society advises it’s people not to judge, but the very same society goes on telling people what’s good or bad, right or wrong, what to consider beautiful or ugly etc.