Have you ever thought about the meaning of the term “freedom“? In my opinion, freedom is an abstract category, which is characterized with the opportunity of doing everything you want if it does not cause harm to other people. Freedom cannot be described in simple words, because this term contains many deep meanings. Different people understand freedom in various ways.
Someone thinks that freedom is the right to walk in any place he wants. Another one says that freedom is the right to say everything he wants without the fear on being punished. Finally, one can say that freedom is the right to choose the government in the discreet way. But what is freedom? Let us observe this issue in detail.
To my mind, freedom is the right to do and speak everything you want if it does not limit the rights and freedoms of other people. There are many countries where there is no freedom. People cannot criticize their government and cannot express their opinion on public. When they say something different from the official opinion of the state, they are punished. Such people can be fined or even imprisoned. Some countries practice capital punishment for such things. Doubtless, these people do not have any freedoms and solid rights.
When I hear the term “freedom”, I understand that I have the freedom of choice. It is easy to understand the meaning of freedom on the example of elections. When there are several political parties, which have the same chances for victory, it is freedom. If you can take part in elections and compete with other candidates, it is freedom. When a party can act in the discreet way without the pressure of the government, it is freedom. Everybody knows that it is impossible to be an honest and noble politician in the developing countries. Such politicians are closely connected with criminals, drug trafficking, etc. Such states are characterized with corruption. Naturally, a common sincere politician will not be able to change the existing situation for the better. He cannot act in the way he wants. Moreover, he can be murdered for the different manner of thinking.
Freedom is the right to open your own business. Nearly every smart and ambitious person dreams about her own firm, which will produce different goods and services. I believe that it is impossible to open a small workshop or a store in the third world country, which suffers from corruption.
Healthy economy is based on healthy competition. When there is no competition, there is no freedom. I would like to establish my own company, which will manufacture customized bikes. If I dared to open a firm of this kind in the country where there is no freedom, I would fail. There are always two of three companies, which have conquered the entire market of custom bikes. I would not have any chances for prosperity if I worked in these conditions. “Free countries” provide people with wide opportunities of opening their own business. They help people reveal their potential for the good of the domestic economy. Free countries are always rich and prosperous, because every citizen can open his small business. He pays taxes and fills the state budget with money. In this case, freedom is closely connected with money.
Finally, freedom is the right to say “no”. If you do not agree with decision of the government, you can say “no” and protest. You will not be punished for your personal subjective opinion.
Consequently, freedom is the right to express your opinion aloud without the fear of imprisonment or violence from the side of the state.
Freedom is an abstract category, which provides you with wide opportunities. On the other hand, you ought to understand that your actions and ideas must not violate the law and cause harm to the surrounding people.
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How I Understand Freedom
What is freedom? If you ask one hundred people this question, you’ll receive one hundred different answers, because every person understands this phenomenon in his or her own way. I wonder whether this notion can be accurately defined and it seems to me that the answer is no.
Some people consider freedom to be a synonym of democracy. Others believe that it is an opportunity to act freely and embody ideas. There are also those who are sure that it is a possibility to do what they want regardless of the impact their actions will have on other people. A prisoner thinks that freedom is a life out of prison, where you decide everything on your own. For me, freedom is an absence of pressure and enforcement from other people. As you see, it is a very wide notion, which every person understands differently and there can hardly be one common opinion.
I’m definitely sure that everybody knows this statement: “My freedom ends where the freedom of another person starts”. Within the society the area of freedom available to each of the individuals is restricted. A person is free to do what laws and social customs do not forbid. Still, what distinguishes a free society from other societies is the extent of the restrictions put on freedom. We can hardly say that all the societies are free in the same way.
Personally I believe that we, as human beings, are social creatures and we really need to live in the society that is restricted. Can you imagine one where all the people do what they want to? I think that it would turn into chaos. That’s why I stick to the opinion that people should obey the rules of the society they live in and respect the rights of other people.
As for me, I can hardly say that I am a free person, because I observe the rules and traditions of the society. Sometimes I’m not free to act as I want, because I know that it can bring harm to people whom I love and respect. I’m not free to leave the country I live in, because in here there are too many things, which I cannot leave and too many people, whom I love. But from time to time I feel completely free: for instance, when at dawn I ride a horse in a field and enjoy a new day be born.
To my mind…