NOT SO SELF EVIDENT.... MORE EDUCATION NEEDED!!
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
I believe that we have a distorted view of what freedom is.
This is partially due to the different usages for the word. One dictionary I saw had seventeen variations on the noun freedom.
But it is also due to our individual misconceptions, and our tendencies to lean into, and abuse a good thing.
It starts because as children we are not taught how to EARN freedom.
It then continues because we have so little foundation in mutual survival, and we disregard each other's needs within the freedom matrix. (i.e. blah blah blah blah wearing a mask to protect others. You are free not to wear a mask, but your concern for others should supersede your need for mask ‘freedom’).
None of the provided definitions describes an absolute freedom. You are not absolutely free to say or do anything you would like to. You are not free to cause harm to others.
ALL of our freedoms and rights are limited when they bump up against the rights of others. This is the impetus behind the need for our government to keep order.
We must abide by a large number of necessary rules and regulations for each of our own protections.
Common limitations or boundaries to freedom of speech relate to libel, slander, obscenity, pornography, sedition, incitement, fighting words, classified information, copyright violation, trade secrets…. long list.
Freedom of expression is limited, most notably as it pertains to the violation of moral values and to the transmission of messages that incite hatred and violence (racism, discrimination, etc.).
But when it comes to the freedom that, as a concept, we fought wars for, perhaps that can best be described in the aggregate, as freedom from oppression.
When you possess freedom from oppression, there really are no caveats. Bullies, governments, parents, employers, strangers, relatives…. no one has any right to oppress another.
So, in the aggregate, freedom is a wide-sweeping concept with many complex ‘conditions’ to consider.
When it comes to raising our children, we should be protecting them, preparing them, nurturing them, and teaching them values.
A missed value is the one where our children learn to earn, understand, and value their aggregate freedoms.
To recognize that as a nation, together we are free.
It helps us live together in one country. It helps us see that we are all in this together.
We’ve raised several generations now, of people who were quite simply granted their freedoms. With no effort, sacrifice, or instruction on what that means.
We forget that new generations will not know what we have known.
That’s why our veterans are always trying to remind us that freedom must be earned. Sad to say we have ignored their warnings. Which has led us to garner generations of people that lean towards arrogant entitlement.
We are not just willy-nilly free.
And those of us that preach complete and unlimited freedoms, without educating our spawn, are doing society a great disservice.
(*some of these words are not my own)