I chose freedom?
Not many people will argue that freedom is better than restraint. But in reality many people are ready to sacrifice freedom for tranquility, comfort, tradition.
Do we really want to have freedom and be free people?
Lately we talk about freedom quite often. I really never thought about what freedom really is, what does it mean. Are we born free of we acquire freedom with experience?
And what is the difference between freedom that single people talk about and freedom that politicians promise?
“All people are born free” – repeated quite often by people who desire best for humankind. But there are always been those that felt that our relationship with freedom is not as simple. There are freedom that poets talked about, and kids in schools used to write essays about. Psychology has a different view on freedom, for them our freedom that we were born with is not obvious. Just because psychology associates freedom with our actions, but not with our beings. And until there is actions, there is no reason talking about freedom. But when I think about a newborn, does he have freedom in his actions? He is born in loving home, he can sleep whenever he wants, he eats when he wants to eat, he plays if he choses to… Does that mean he is free because he does what he wants? No, because all this actions – expression of spontaneity, immediate impulses, explains psychologist Dmitry Leontiev. “Freedom relate with spontaneity as a higher psychological function with lower. Lower psychological functions act more on their own, more mechanically. Higher functions – our actions that we do consciously, from our own experience and notions as to how are we suppose to act.” And although manifestations of higher and lower functions may be simlar, the reasons for them are often completely different.So what actions coupld be counted as the real manifestations of freedom? Those that we commit with clear awareness of the consequences and willingness to answer for our actions. Acting free does not mean act good, freedom can not be evaluated. With freedom – by your own will, with full awareness of the consequences, – we may act very badly.
There is another side to freedom, freedom tied up in conjunction with responsibility. Freedom and responsibility is the same thing, it is two sides of one coin, each of which does not exist by itself. Freedom and responsibility have different roots. Beginning of freedom is that childish freedom. Responsibility is raised in us by restrictions: restrictions set by parents, religious beliefs, and even our own self control. These parallels cross each other later in life, or sometimes do not cross at all. But the point of cross suppose to be around teenage years. I recently read one of experimental study on correlation of freedom and responsibility in teenagers, study was done in 1980s and psychologists found 4 types of behavior that worth mentioning: autonomous, impulsive, symbiotic and conformal. Autonomous behavior – is a perfect balance of freedom and responsibility; that is the behavior of a truly free person. In impulsive teens (usually it is boys) the spontaneity of conduct clearly prevails over the responsibility for their actions. “Symbiotic” teenagers are ready to adapt to any requirements:they demonstrate high level of responsibility and distinct lack of freedom. And finally conformal teens they prefer to “swim with the tide” – they lack both freedom and responsibility.
MANIFEST OF FREE PERSON
Working on this “Manifest of free person” I was trying to understand from different points of view, what is freedom? The answer seems so simple, “intuitive easy to understand”… but so elusive. For me important not the concept, but the way of existence as a free human being. What is he/she feeling, what are his/her actions, what is the most important for him/her, what does he/she believe in?.. So after deliberate research I came up with 10 main point that i think are applicable to the description of “free human”
- Freedom for me – not the purpose, but a way of life
- Everything that I think about is consistent with what I say or do. I avoid lies and hypocrisy.
- I support the manifestation of freedom in others and respect other people’s opinion
- I take responsibility for my thoughts, words and actions. I do not wait for someone else make a decision for me, and I am not complaining about circumstances
- I remember, that I can make mistakes, like any other person. I can see my mistakes and recognize them
- My opinion may change. If I think today differently, that I thought yesterday, I will not hold on to my ideas for the sake of illusion
- I understand, that I might not know everything. I strive to differentiate my knowledge from my speculation, guesswork and desires
- I do not trust somebody elses opinion just because I respect that person. I strive to receive information from many sources, to analyse it myself and to check with the experience
- Fear – is the main obstacle on the way to freedom. I get rid of fear – fear of life, fear of others and myself, fear of being judged. My first step towards conquering my fear – is to notice and honestly admit, if I afraid of something.
- I understand and accept all my feelings and desires. I am not ashamed and I do not blame myself for them. When I express my feelings, will I pursue them and how I chose to do it, depends only on me.