Freedom is a terribly powerful word, and it might even mean more than we are actually aware of. For most of us it simply refers to the state of being unrestricted – as the power to act and speak as we like, which is something that only a select few are entitled to do in countries in which the bird of freedom isn’t gaily soaring in the sky. And so, naturally, we regard it as something that’s directly influenced, or determined even, by our immediate surroundings.
It can therefore be easy to forget that to be free from prejudice, fear and hate is an equal asset as that of being free to move and act as one wishes. And more importantly, this inner freedom is in our own control, and it can change the way we look at everything else. So why not focus on this powerful tool of freeing ourselves, instead of restraining our minds even further until it’s fully shaped after the wishes of society?
And besides, what do we even want to do with our freedom after it has been given to us? What is it that we will set free? Something that has rotten inside us or something that we’ve nourished even though it’s been caged? Whilst freedom to a great extent is about all that we’re entitled to do and get, there’s also a responsibility that comes along with it as well and we would do well to remember that.
I feel that a lot of us, because of the lack of freedom and the paralysing fear that comes with it, now trust people less easily and less willingly. That we somehow – at least emotionally – are forced to depend on no one but ourselves. By comparing the image that we have of freedom with the freedom that we experience in our own lives, we get suspicious of our surroundings, feeling that we need to find a way to survive rather than live. Creating even more walls between us and our fellow men, we jail ourselves with our fears and thoughts about freedom, and encourage a way of thinking that polarises the self from those in our surroundings, not for a second considering the fact that we deep inside are the same and are going through the same kind of struggles, and that friends, foes and most of those lying in-between have just as much good inside them as we are sure that we do.
Maybe, if we could break down those walls, we would be able to learn from those who are better, and support those who aren’t. Maybe, if we all would set ourselves free from ourselves, that bird of freedom could be released from the grip of our hearts and soar up in the sky once more and we, though might not yet as fully free men, would feel a bit lighter as we continued walking on the pavement to freedom.