Freedom is a two syllable word with so much implication that it seems to be the most important coveted aspect that we need to lead a life of happiness. It would not be an overstatement if I say that freedom is the most wanted state in communities everywhere. Freedom is related to a country’s existence, an individual’s thought, a system of living and what not. In the past, people laid down their lives in big numbers to acquire it , to get the taste of what is called freedom. We want freedom from subjugation, oppression, tyranny. Likewise, freedom of speech and freedom of choosing our way life have been at the fore of struggle over many centuries.
However, freedom might be defined as an highly evolved illusion of human mind which perceives a particular state as freedom. Interestingly, delving into the matter would trigger a question of whether we can be really literally free or not. Thinking freedom as lofty a state as we have been led to believe , it might be hard even to think that the realistic freedom in terms of wider range of things is utterly unrealistic. Are we free? Do we have freedom? Apparently, we are free to believe whatever we like!.
It is possible to distinguish different kinds of freedom and at the same time it is also possible to point out which one of those is most vital for us. We human beings have been created in a way to live a physical life with all kinds of biological needs. On individual level, fulfilling these needs take the top priority of which there can be little doubt. Food will definitely come first in the list. We want to make sure we dont suffer for want of food. In the past, the need for it caused violent battles among different communities , and between man and animals. The modern age with its numerous achievements has been the most successful one as to dealing the problem of food. Yet, in different parts of the world, many people die every year starving. The picture becomes bleaker when we come across stories of farmers committing suicide being aware of the fact that they are unable to meet their family needs. So, being in a state of first world life, we might think the world has advanced a lot, which to a great extent true, but many around the world are still in whirlpool of food insecurity. To these people, the most important thing would be to get freedom from the vicious cycle of food insecurity. Other aspects matter little to them. For us, living with food security another kind of problem is ineluctable. Can we defy our biological need of taking food? The question might sound a little odd. But lets think. Can we? The answer is obviously negative. So , to survive, to live, to lead a healthy life we need to take food. This is nature. This is the biological rule. We cant but follow this. So, in this regard, are we free? We might be free in choosing what kind of food we would like to eat , but are we free from the need of taking food. A physical, or rather biological obligation, so to speak. We might wonder why we need this.
Now lets look at another point from a different perspective. We know that this universe is being governed by a set of rules, of which I think every educated reader has some knowledge. It is thought that gravity rules everything. Whatever. Every thing in this vast universe follows the laws of physics and can be explained as such according to science. The moon moves around the earth and the earth does that around the sun which does the same around the center of our galaxy, the Milky-way. We can explain quite accurately how a particular object would behave in a particular situation . Now, are we human beings not a part of this universe? Oh yes obviously. Are we not in the same way subjected to the physical laws? Any guess. Your guess is right. We are also. As everything influences every other thing next to it by every possible means, we are also being influenced by everything-the sun, the moon, the air, the light, the environment, the people around us, and what not. Every variable comes into effect while we do something. Are we then free? From a superficial point of view, we are free, but in truth we are not.
In a so-called free world, can we do whatever we like? We live in countries which have enacted laws to regulate our lives. Every society has laws and it is made sure that the laws are upheld and applied. What if somebody does not like the existing laws? What if he does not want to abide by the laws which he believes unlawful? For example, if he wants to drive his car towards the reverse way in a one-way road, why would he be punished? Its his will. Wont the police come after him If he crosses 50km/h mark in a road of 40km/h restricted speed? Who has given the police the right to sentence him? The government. Who has given the right to the Gov? Say it is 70% of the population. But he is one of the 30%. Why wont he be able to do whatever he likes as he does not agree with others. Well, we know that every society has formulated some ways to control its member for the greater good, whether some people like or not does not matter. So, are we literally free??
Lets talk about family. A father has some duties to do , as has a mother. Their duties might be of same kind or different. Do they have the freedom to escape their duties! Even do they have have the freedom to choose from options? Can a would be mother decide not to remain pregnant? There are other ways, though! Of course, by means of test tube technology, she might become a mother. But, the natural laws are different. She cant escape carrying the foetus in her womb, as cant the father of the child avoid duties to rear the child, once it is born. They are duty-bound.If a person works for an organisation, he/she has to follow the organisation’s system. Defying this would cost his job, a must thing in this world. 9-5 job each day! Are the parents free; or is this executive free!!
Nowadays, some so-called educated people want to believe that there should not be any restriction in the lives of people. Many of them have the idea that following some of the teachings of religion curbs freedom of their lives. They want to experience freedom! Being under different set of rules in every aspect of their life, and being unable to redress these as these are beyond their capacity, their target is religion. Are they biased for some reasons? Or how much likely is the idea that they are simply delusional!!? Besides, It would be an interesting question whether they realize that they can never attain freedom in its broader definition. If a driver wants to drive his/her car, he/she needs to know how to drive. Although both the driver and the car are ruled by the laws of physics, if the driver does not know how to drive, accidents are inevitable. In the same way, although we are biological beings subjected to chemical reactions and laws of physics , we need to know how to lead our lives. If we don’t know how to lead it and if we always follow our impulse , the results might not be as desired. When it is established that almost every aspect of biological, social, professional affairs is intertwined with specific rules and laws of different nature, it is only natural to believe that there is a right way to follow in other spheres of life as well. Defying this would be tantamount to denying the very nature of our existence.