On my walk today, I reflected on the meaning of freedom. Given the proclivity of freedom as political justification in foreign and domestic national decisions, including going to war, the definition of “freedom” seems rarely debated.
It struck me, first and foremost, there must be the freedom to ask the question. Many other peoples are not so fortunate as in the United States where our constitution’s first amendment guarantees freedom of expression.
To be truly free, I would also need the time and the physical capability to communicate. In the afternoon when often unable to speak intelligibly, there is a tendency to talk over me. Does this mean the disabled do not have the same rights as a fully capable person?
Work ethic and productivity are two powerful barometers of societal merit in our materialistic society. Overvaluing them is a frighteningly effective way of transforming large population segments into enslaved robots of a fabricated culture. Accounting for every minute of the day irrevocably shackles a person to be ultimately “in this world,” absent the more spiritually attuned being “of this world.”
The materialistic view of the world does not see the surrounding beauty as the flowers along the path are trampled underfoot. The overvaluation of work ethic and productivity in our society brings us to a stale culture, bereft of imagination, lacking color, and certainly not free.
Culture’s limitations are freedom’s most lavish yoke of oppression. Understanding society’s ultimate impact on our behavior breathes fresh air into a liberated vision of reality, clearing the mind of judgement’s learned clutter, freeing us from the faceless mass.