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Meaning of Freedom

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What Is the Meaning of True Freedom? To be "free," as generally understood, is to be free to do anything one desires to do, as long as you do not harm another person, thus interfering with his or her freedom. With this in mind, you can do essentially anything you want. There are no restrictions, no limits. In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson wrote that we, humans, have rights. Among these being the famous "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." I believe that the very essence of freedom is found in the early years of our American Revolution. There is no better way to describe freedom than an element that all humans strive for, to the point of incivility, or war. It is something that we treasure so dear to us that we chose to die defending it. Freedom has both an external as well as an internal component. The external is associated with how we can "freely" operate in society so as to not, for example, encroach on the freedom of others. The internal component is related to grasping our own potential; and this requires that we understand ourselves, that we understand others through overcoming our prejudices against them, and also that we learn to attain the audacity to express this knowledge openly. Freedom without a goal or purpose is hollow but when the purpose is simply the search for truths in the wide sense of the word and for which there are many paths, it gains meaning. It is through these truths that we will learn to "better" ourselves, others and society in general. Another way to describe freedom would simply be control. Control over your life and how it affects others around you. Control over my life from the time I wake up in the morning, to the clothing that I am going to wear for the day, to the time I go to bed. But the freedoms have to be controlled themselves or else our society would become chaotic. In order to be completely free people would follow no laws or rules. Society would not be able to function. There would be nothing but chaos: people driving on the wrong side of the road, no one wanting to wait in lines at stores, people would be afraid to even leave their houses. We give up some of our freedoms to live in a functional society. Freedom is something to die for. In every war we have fought as a country, we send soldiers to defend this nation. Soldiers are those men and women who fight for the freedom that Americans have today. Many times, they have died in the process of defending our freedom. It is important that we honor them as they place themselves in harms way for people they do not even know. They put their own lives on the line, even though many of them have husbands, wives and children at home. Far too often, Americans take for granted the great things that are laid out for them. We all dread going to work, or school, or writing papers. But the fact is that we GET to do these things. The rat race of our lives may be just that, but we should consider the fact that as long as this is what we have, we must make the best of it. People live to get through the day. But we need to realize that this is all we get. No one knows for sure what lies beyond this world. But if we spend all our time trying to find out what does lie there, we forfeit the ability to live for today. It is for these reasons that we control the freedom we have, and we have people putting their lives on the line to protect our nation. In essence, the meaning of freedom is America. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.” -Thomas Jefferson

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