Freedom. It is a very interesting phenomenon. We are always fighting for freedom. We have laws that guarantee us one freedom or another and in some constitutions freedom maintains a very important place.
But what is freedom? Is it just a physical state? When I am not physically restrained, am I free? Or is freedom more of a mental state—a state of mind? These are definitely interesting and important questions to ask ourselves.
I had a privilege to experience life in a country where we didn’t have the level of freedom known in West Europe or North America. I have also endured prison. Once, because I wanted to escape this country and the second time was because I decided to go against the rulers. I didn’t spend years closed in a cell, but I have tested what physical restraint means. From my perspective, being inside the prison was unpleasant, as it was against my will, but I didn’t feel enslaved. I could think. I could respect myself and others. I could help…
It seems that for me there is more important freedom then lack of physical restrain. Freedom, true freedom, cannot be taken away from you by external forces. A “universal freedom” is something we all have. For me, it is a freedom of choice. We can choose what we think, how we react, what we do, what we don’t do. We can choose to be free.
In this sense the freedom of choice could be the most important freedom there is.
When you are in a prison you can choose to feel free as much as when you are working on your business in an executive office you can choose to feel enslaved.
Voltaire said it well when he said, “Man is free at the moment he wishes to be.”
Unfortunately not every person understands the consequences of this great gift. The gift of freedom of choice.
One important consequence is that we can only choose for ourselves. We can’t choose for others. Once, I heard someone say, “I want to be free to choose my own friends.” It doesn’t work like that! You can only choose to become a person who may attract people you would like to have around, but you can’t choose specific people to be around you. You may force them but you cannot choose them.
Another important consequence is responsibility, which comes with this freedom. As it is your choice, it is your responsibility.
On the positive side, you are fully in charge of all of your choices. Not one person can force you to think or feel differently unless you choose to do so. Someone can restrict your actions, but no one can restrict your thoughts and feelings.
This freedom of choice is a powerful force in our life. We do make choices all the time. Not necessarily big and significant choices. Or am I wrong? Could it be that choice, which at first seems small and insignificant, has a big impact on our life? Just look at basic choices like what we eat, what we do in our free time, what we watch, what we read. Small, insignificant choices can decide how our lives will play out, how our health will be, how our relations will unfold.
Jim Rohn once said that failure is a few errors in judgment simply repeated every day. Or a few small, irrelevant choices that we have made freely and didn’t correct. Often knowing that the choices we made were not so good.
The same Jim Rohn said that success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day. Again a few insignificant choices made freely by us. It’s in our power to change and discover success!
Freedom. Yes, it is a very interesting phenomenon indeed. And the freedom of choice could be the most important freedom there is. Use your freedom of choice wisely and carefully. Use it for your advantage. Use it to make yourself a better person and to make your life happier! And … to change the world around you through positivity and joy!