Freedom means – what? To me, perhaps simply the ability to do whatever I want to do when I want to do it. Which also implies that the time, money, health and energy required are available. Is freedom gone if I do not have enough, cannot get enough?
Freedom might also mean freedom from – from hunger, from restrictions physical, mental and spiritual, from peril and threat, from conformity.
What is freedom?s value? one wonders. Is freedom simply individual? Is a village a place of freedom? Are cooperation and collaboration restrictions on freedom? Or is coooperating a free choice we can make to freely join in relationship with others to secure further freedoms?
Does every freedom need to be in place – political, economic, social, religious – in order for us to be free? What if, as in China, economic freedom is in place, but not true religious freedom, and definitely not political / protesting / information seeking freedom. If the Chinese cannot follow their thoughts and check out possibilities on the web, are they even economically free?
In our lobbying society, lobbyists sometimes seem to have enormous impact on our specific freedoms, as in the current efforts to curtail our supplement, vitamin and herb choices. Their statement: these items have no proven value, and may be harmful. Our statement: these items cannot be patented and therefore do not have monetary value to Big Pharma. Our freedom to choose may be restricted to the point where the individual would not be able, within the law, to obtain her/his choices. And, outside the law, would have grave difficulties, and perhaps put herself / himself in jeopardy.
In a society that abounds with addictions – to video games, to alcohol, to legal and illegal drugs, even addictions to fear itself, fed at the roots by the very culture – does freedom even exist? Are our efforts to claw ourselves free – to stand with clear outlines as individuals having clearly made cognitively, spiritually and physically our own choices – of value? Is that work, that struggle, that focus on freedom worth its cost to the individual?
Freedom and restraint, continuous choices. So that the individual in the village, seeking a clear color for her / his own life, can choose to add that color to the rainbow in that village. With joy, courage and power, in the village and in the individual.
Life continues, minute to minute.