What is Freedom

Dictionary.com defines freedom seventeen different ways.

  1. Being at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint.
  2. Exempt from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
  3. The power to determine action without restraint.
  4. Political or national independence.
  5. Personal liberty as opposed to bondage or slavery.
  6. Exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from) i.e. Freedom from fear.
  7. The absence of or release from ties, obligations, etc.
  8. Ease or facility of movement or action. i.e. Moving around the country without identity papers.
  9. Frankness or manner or speech.
  10. General exemption or immunity. i.e. Freedom from taxation.
  11. The absence of ceremony or reserve.
  12. A liberty taken.
  13. A particular immunity or privilege enjoyed, as by a city or corporation. i.e. freedom to levy taxes.
  14. Civil liberty, as opposed to subjection to an arbitrary or despotic government or martial law.
  15. The right to enjoy all the privileges or special rights of citizenship, membership, etc., in a community or the like.
  16. The right to frequent, enjoy, or use at will. i.e. Freedom of a friend’s library.
  17. The power to exercise choice and make decisions without constraint from within or without. Autonomy or Self-determination.

Confused Yet? I am!  I still don’t know what is freedom?

So I took some time to analyse these definitions (I won’t bore you with the details) and came to the following conclusion.

In America I have Personal and Civil Freedom.  I am not physically restrained or bound and I can enjoy the Civil Liberties granted to all citizens as long as I obey the laws of the country.

I also have Freedom of Choice as defined by Philosophy.  Each and every one of us, no matter where we are in the world, has freedom of choice and the power to exercise that freedom.  We are autonomous human beings.  Our path in life is self-determined for the most part.  Granted, where we start and the tools available to us greatly affect our degree of freedom but our will and the choices we make during our life affect our level of freedom even more.

But we still haven’t answered the question, What is Freedom?

Freedom to me is so much more than Personal and Civil liberty.

Freedom of Choice is a huge part of what being free is though.  Having the choice to determine how I will use each hour of every day I am alive. The ability to acquire the skills I need to improve my life and the lives of those around me and then using those skills to increase my degree of freedom. The freedom to go at a moments notice and help others in need without fear of lost income is real freedom to me.

To achieve that level of freedom though I need Time and Financial freedom which we will look at later.


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