Freedom, something that every living being craves for is something very ambiguous. Now most of the societies don’t practice any forms of slavery. Note that I said “most”, lets not forget that there are still people who are victims to some form of slavery at some place around the world, for instance, even in developed countries someone is being tortured by their boss. Just kidding. But the fact is not as simple as it seems. There are people who are experiencing some form of slavery because of their economic status, caste or sex. But its a wide topic and lets not get to that now.
What I would like to bring up is the ambiguity of the word freedom. It can mean different things to different people. Its definition cannot be noted down in a dictionary (although its there). Freedom might mean being able to read newspaper peacefully in his own home for a retired senior citizen whereas it might be being able to go outside and play, for a kid. I remember in the movie Shawshank Redemption, the old librarian has spent too long in the prison (named Shawshank!!) that for him, freedom was inside the prison and not in the new age city where he just couldn’t fit in (If you haven’t watched Shawshank Redemption you may not get this, then you should certainly go and watch it. Its ‘The’ top rated movie in imdb).
The First Priority
Freedom, a seven lettered word which can mean a million different things (sigh.. I’m repeating words too much!), is the core concept of conscience in today’s age. That is what determines right and wrong now. In the past, duties, sacrifices etc. sometimes deprived people of their freedom. But now cultures are changing. Many have already changed and others are undergoing them. Now it has gone so far that a 10 year old kid might be able to put his own dad in prison for hitting him and thus disrupting his ‘personal freedom’. In most western countries ones freedom is the most important thing and anything and everything should be driven by ‘whether it affects ones freedom or not’ concept. While in our country, people accepting the change are still facing trouble, while the traditionalists are trying to keep their decision firm. But I should say that the process of change is pretty fast.
The Drive for Freedom and Balanced Freedom
I’m not trying to judge the idea. I don’t claim its wrong or right. What I propose is that freedom is a tricky word which cannot be used so lightly (not again!). I certainly don’t believe that it should drive your morality. What makes you free is not always right, as the pop culture states (“young wild and free” ain’t that cool broh!!). Of course freedom is a very important factor for a healthy society but to what extent is the question. ‘Complete freedom’ is non-existent. What may be freedom for you might actually deprive others of theirs. For instance, you cannot justify making loud noise in a house by disturbing the others with the idea of freedom. Also one could justify killing a person by saying he has the freedom to do so. Now you’ll agree that ‘complete freedom’ ain’t right (okay may be my examples are too far from common sense but you got the point!).
So, freedom has a limit as your mom tells you while playing too much. Now the limit is where different cultures and ideologies have different opinions. Now, in our culture elders might be strict in letting us go out (especially girls) but there are cultures where they have no problem in teenagers spending the whole night at a party or something. Here, I remember some psychologist’s experience. When he worked in India, some parents came complaining that their daughter is spending too much time with boys but somewhere abroad he met with a completely different case! They were worried that their daughter isn’t going out with any boy =P Now, this might be crazy for some people while for the rest the other one is!
That’s the funny part. You might be feeling one is wrong and you’ll fight for your idea but you just can’t establish it. Because the other side has their opinions too. You just can’t judge and categorize people into wrong or right. When you think deep about it, you’ll find it very crazy. You’ll get more and more confused about where to draw the line. So what is the solution? Well, if I knew I wouldn’t be here. What we can do is keep it simple and don’t go too deep like some theoretical physicists do. Understand that ‘When you go too deep underground you’re forgetting whats on the surface’ (???) err… What I mean is don’t forget about common sense and conscience when going too thoughtful about right and wrong theoretically. Some things do exist even though we can’t explain them. May be its our limitation that we can’t explain ’em. May be its like those extra dimensions in string theory that we can’t imagine!
As I’m starting to make little sense and seeing that this isn’t going anywhere I’ll stop twisting your thoughts and… just stop! Wait till I bring something confusing or funny… or interesting next week. And also, don’t forget to share your opinions below. Thanks!