In order to ensure that we as a people are on the same page when it comes to terminology, having the same definitions is key to moving forward. In the media and in everyday life I constantly hear the word “freedom” both in the mouths of talking heads on the news and in the public forum, and on the bumpers of just about every pickup truck with a gun rack here in the middle of nowhere. It seems obvious to me that everyone would like to have the right to be free, but what is not so obvious is what is meant by this word. What does it mean to be free?
When looking for the definition of freedom in my Merriam-Webster dictionary, I am confronted with a list of about 10 definitions, all vague and of little help. “The quality and state of being free?” While that may work for some clouded explanation, it does not work for a working definition of something that is supposed to be understood by all as a birthright so reminded to us by our constitution. A more useful definition I think is found in the interwebs as you search for the definition of freedom, which is as follows: The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. That is a pretty broad statement, is it not?
Now, after reading that sentence the question I must as you dear reader—are you free? Can you say whatever you want and do you have the privacy to make these statements known or not? Can you do whatever you would like to do with your own body without the threat of punishment as long as this act does no harm to others? Can you travel where ever you wish without hindrance? It seems to me the only kind of freedom we possess is the freedom to choose our television programming, which sports teams to root for, and which flavor of potato chips to snack on while enjoying the game.
The truth of the matter is that we are all free. When the founding fathers of the US created our Constitution, it was not to declare what rights we were being given. This document is a list of rights that are, and that cannot be taken from us. It is your choice if you want to exercise them. As discussed in my last post “Remembering the Apocalypse” being in a constant state of war for years has allowed for the subsequent removal of the rights of the people. It is up to the people of the world to reclaim these rights; if not for us then for future generations on this planet.
Here in the US it seems that there is hope, or at least motion in the right direction. States like Colorado and Washington have taken steps to make legal the use of cannabis, and though I am not myself a user of this substance I understand the implications that this leap toward personal sovereignty has had on the entire country if not the world.
This is a step in the direction of true freedom. To allow citizens the power to control their own consciousness and all that this entails is the beginning of the long road back to being a truly free society. Like a great deal of what you read here, this is my opinion—one which I am free to have.