Freedom is a basic right of all living beings. Freedom is an abstract idea that can't be touched, seen, felt, reached or explained. All this gives a vague idea about freedom. But what exactly does freedom mean?
Different people have different opinions, definitions and thoughts about the idea of freedom. Some talk about freedom in the political sense, some talk about social freedom, some about personal independence and some define it as religious freedom. But the fact that everyone wants to be freeholds true in all cases. Education or preaching does not make us free. Freedom is the absence of any pressure from the social, political and religious environment that we live in.
But freedom is not an absolute right, and it too has some constraints or terms and conditions in simple language. At times, freedom is specific to the age group we fall into or according to our social environment. A popular saying goes: “Your freedom ends where mine begins”.
Freedom is the state of mind of being free, independent, or free from prison. Freedom means to ask nothing from others, to expect nothing from others, and there is nothing to depend on others. Freedom is a choice of a person to live life the way he/she wants. Freedom is to present yourself the way you are, but it doesn’t mean to live only your life, instead help others to live happily and freely. Freedom comes with restrictions. It is a responsibility. Freedom doesn’t mean to live your life freely and make others’ life miserable. Freedom allows us to work together while maintaining autonomy.
Freedom allows us to enhance the expression of creativity and original thoughts and increase productivity. It allows us to invent something new and helps us to live a high quality of life. Freedom of thinking, speaking and actions helps us to take our decisions independently. It is a condition in which we are fortunate to speak, act and be happy without unnecessary restrictions. Deprivation of freedom is like a punishment to a human being in which neither the captivator nor the captive is at peace.
One of our members writes – “Being a woman, freedom means to me to be able to walk alone without any fear, to earn equal wages, to dress-up the way I want, to choose any occupation, to be treated equally and not to feel guilty for living my life on my own terms and conditions.”
On the other hand, peace is a state of mind and heart when we are calm and quiet, with no disturbance, like a still pond with no ripples. Peace is a stress-free state of serenity and calmness that comes when there is no fight and everything coexists in harmony and freedom. Peace helps us to rebuild ourselves; it strengthens us and helps us to restore. Peace is the ability to manage conflicts constructively as an opportunity for change and increased understanding.
Peace means learning from others. It means to nurture all individuals. Peace is a sense of appreciation and respect for all the little and big things in life. A peaceful mind has peaceful thoughts, speaks words of peace and will at peace.
Freedom and peace cannot be separated from each other because we cannot be in peace unless we have the freedom of speech and actions. We get freedom when we allow freedom to others, same as we have peace of mind when we allow it to others. We make the right decisions when we are free to think, and there is peace in our heart. And, of course, when we get freedom from our desires, we get actual peace inside.
Written with enthusiasm by FLYERS DGS - Vijaya Jugran, Urvashi Uniyal, Vandana Goel, Bhumika Vyas & Ritika Tyagi, at The Doon Girls' School in Dehradun.