Freedom is one of the most cherished states of being alive. Freedom enables anyone to indulge in any creative or meaningful pursuits that one can call as his own. Freedom allows a poet to write his own poems, it allows a singer to sing his songs and a writer to write the kind of stories that he wishes. These can be examples of political freedom. There are several other kinds of freedom as well. Economic freedom is another equally important kind of freedom which allows anyone to choose the kind of vocation he or she feels is most appropriate based on the person’s aptitude and abilities. One of the higher levels of freedom is the spiritual freedom that liberates one from the petty human emotions like greed and jealousy.
When we talk of freedom, the essence lies in letting someone be what they want to be. Most of our freedom is curbed by subtle means of conforming to certain expectations. These expectations of others influence the way we let our freedom be controlled by others. Daring to be different is one such privilege that comes with freedom. Unless you have the right to be different, you are not actually free. It is said that all the progress in the world has been made by people who dared to be different. This has been found to be true from the time of Copernicus and Galileo, to Newton and later, Steve Jobs.
Being Different Requires Courage
It is not easy to be different from others; it requires oodles of courage and lots of guts. Great social reformers had this courage of convictions. Raja Ram Mohan Roy fought against the practice of Sati in which widows were burned in the pyre along with their dead husbands. In the eighteenth century, being different and taking a stand against such social customs required lot of courage. Only people who had such freedom of thought could achieve such things. This is also true for Mahatma Gandhi who was so different in his approach to attain independence for India. He used Ahimsa or Non-violence to get freedom for the country.
Freedom to being Different Liberates us from our Bondages
To bring about a dash of philosophy in this, the story of Prince Siddhartha, who later on became the Buddha, must be recalled for his profoundness. His rise to the Buddha, or the Enlightened One, also showcases why the ability to being different is the essence of personal freedom. The freedom to make a different choice, follow a different path, helps bring about the ultimate knowledge that frees us from the evil temptations that abound in life. The ability to think and act different, allows everyone to reach the highest level of self-actualization, which is what they were destined to become.
Accepting the Fact that Everyone is Different
One of the most evil practices that is prevalent in any oppressive society is to force others to follow a rigid system and way of life. Such a regimented social system gives rise to many social evils and is detrimental to the progress of society. All human cultures had suffered from such evils at one or the other time in history. In contrast, those societies that accepted diversity and pluralism have thrived. United States of America has always welcomed diversity among its people. India is also known for being a melting cauldron of different cultures which has made it great.
Freedom envisages a number of attributes that make it a virtue worth dying for. Not only it is the noblest cause for any living being, it also enriches life. The most advanced countries and societies are those that have embraced freedom for its citizens. Freedom ensures the dignity of human life, and enhances creativity and progress; thus ensuring a higher standards of living.
Written By: Raj Kumar Hansdah