"..Man is Born Free, But Everywhere in Chains.." - Jean Jacques Rousseau (French Revolutionary)
"Our destiny unfolds on the choices we make." - From Matrix
Freedom is responsibility.Freedom is to choose the responsibility.
Though both the above statements seem contradictory, they are not. Infact they are complimentary.
Ever since my child hood, I have always perceived that nothing exists as absolute freedom. The more I tried to explore on this , the more I was convinced.
I have been told many times by learned people that freedom is responsibility. I accepted it that way. For me , freedom is to act responsibily. Freedom is to make the right choice. The choice that is in the best intrests of all concerned.
My this opinion was questioned recently. I am thankful for that.As usual, I made my best efforts again on pondering over what I had always accepted - "Absolute freedom does not exist."
I am trying to reason it out with myself now. The basic question is - Are we really free from everything?
Answer varies. A spiritually inclined person , for that matter a lame guy who has catched glimpses of AASTHA TV might well go ahead and make a statement saying being free from everything is to attain enlightment.
Yes. Being free from everything is to attain enlightment. The very purpose of enlightment is to be free from all desires,needs and wants. But then when will you aspire or work towards enlightment? It is only when you have "DESIRE" to get enlightened that you start working towards it.
I guess i am going off topic. Comming back to the question of freedom.Every one of us has only choices to make. We dont have absolute freedom from anything.When we are born, its neither our choice nor our freedom to chose to whom we are born. It is a an act of passion that brings us into this world.The moment we are born, we lose our freedom. I mean absolute freedom.
We dont decide what our mother is going to feed us.
We dont choose our name. It is decided by our parents.
We dont choose which colour nappy we prefer. It is the choice of our parents.
We dont choose which school we would like to go.
Most of the decisions concerned to us are taken by either our parents or others during childhood.
As we grow up, our thoughts are influenced. Yes. We are influenced. And when we are influenced we are not free. Why? Because, we become preoccupied and our mind is conditioned to those thoughts.
Nobody living in the society is a independent island. We all are connected. If we accept it then we have to accept we are not free.
I am connected to my parents. I am connected to my friends. I am connected to my collegues.
When I am connected, my actions have their consequences on others. Connected or otherwise. Based on my actions, there are people out there who will be affected. Same way, their actions do affect me.
Are we free then? No. In my view, I dont have absolute freedom. I only have options to choose. I only have freedom to the extent that I chose one of the many options that life and circumstances provide me.
Yes. If you are free even from all relationships and living in solititude, you are not free. Because circumsances will make you react.
Consider a sanyasi living in forest. He has no relations. No friends. He is left to himself. But, what if he feels hungry. He is dependent on the food in forest.To satisfy his hunger, he will have to pick fruits or hunt. What if the circumstances are like this - There is a draught. No fruits available. No animals to hunt for.
He is forced to starve. Is he free? No. Circumstances have forced him to starve.We come across so many situations in day to day life, where we are forced.
How does freedom become responsibility?
Again the answer is simple and clear. Once we accept there is nothing called as absolute freedom and we are only free to choose from many options we have, freedom becomes responsibility. To choose the most appropriate option is in itself a responsibility. Why? Because every option you choose will lead to both known and unknown consequences. It is our responsibility to choose the option that benefits all.
You may ask, why choose option that benefits all? I say why not? If you have accepted we dont have absolute freedom and our choices affect people around us, chosing the option that benefits all concerned is not only our responsibility but also our duty. Just imagine a situation where everybody choses to benefit themselves and no one else. Being interconnected we will have to suffer for others wrong choices. When we suffer we complain. Call it unfair.
We lose rights to complain against others when we ourselves have chosen wrong options.
How freedom is to choose responsibility?
Earlier in my blog, in one of the posts, I had stated we are responsible for ourselves. For our happiness as well as our worries. What ever we are we are responsible for it. Our choices decide our destiny.
We are responsible for what we choose. And what we choose is our responsibility. Hence freedom is to choose responsibility.