People desire freedom.
Freedom is the ability to act based on your convictions without external restrictions or retribution, and represent yourself as you see yourself to be without having to disguise in order to pursue happiness, fulfillment and growth. It is the power of free self-expression.
Different cultures define freedom in different ways thus people of different societies enjoy it in ways that they consider to be appropriate. Being free does not imply that we should infringe on the rights of others and live by our feelings. It involves considering the rights and the feelings of the people around us while living freely.
On the other hand, a free person does not need to fear when expressing his opinion. Societies that encourage freedom of opinion, belief, expression, choice, etc. are the ones where creative minds flourish.
Freedom also involves appreciating the enchanting beauty of nature and our environments. A person who is worried and anxious is not truly free. Hence, being free is a function of the state of your mind. It implies that your mind is under no fear or compulsion of safety in life.
Social recognition and being safe do not mean freedom. The fulfilment of our aspirations and ambitions do not equate to being free. Education and religion do not make us free. Freedom is the absence of pressure from our social, political and religious environments. It is within the social customs and laws of the country.
No society can guarantee absolute freedom to all social creatures. This is because our societies will become chaotic when we all do what we want when we want. Hence, freedom is not an absolute right as it has some constraints. If it poses a threat to society and the nation, it is false. One cannot kill people, violate laws, smuggle drugs, etc. in the guise of being truly free.
We must respect the human rights of every member of our societies. It is only by doing this that we can truly be free.
Folakemi Oyeyemi is an Associate Solutions Architect at Lead Resources, a strategic human capital development social enterprise that helps organizations become the best they can be using world-class tools and practices. She is a Mathematician and is also passionate about entrepreneurship.