Freedom is a wide and encompassing term which is classified as an abstract noun that could not be physically grasped; yet paramount in relevance. It is deemed widely encompassing in terms of describing its meaning depending on the perspectives of people affected by it. For instance, freedom could be simply defined as “the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint” . For people whose rights have been significantly curtailed or whose actions and endeavors are hampered in any way by another person, group of persons, or institutions, freedom could be defined as the ability to exercise, avail, and access specifically defined rights without conditions or controls, to enable the pursuit of endeavors deemed instrumental in successfully attaining fulfillment of personal or professional goals.
One could affirm that the comprehensiveness or details contained in the definition depends on the point of view of the person defining the term. In addition, the definition would assume levels of simplicity or complexity as a result of taking diverse perspectives and scope of orientation (either seeing it through a macro or micro level). It is therefore deduced to be subjective; yet premised on the universal concept of access and availment of predefined human rights.
Freedom could also be defined in terms of factors that allegedly impact on an individual’s ability to act. For instance, according to Treder (2009), “one way to think of this is the difference between ‘freedom of’ (or ‘freedom to’) and ‘freedom from’” (par. 5). The author used examples from the State of the Union addressed delivered by then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941 which apparently expounded on four essential human freedoms, to wit: “(1) freedom of speech and expression; (2) freedom of every person to worship God in his own way; (3) freedom from want; and (4) freedom from fear” . These explanations and assertions are seen from a macro-oriented perspective of freedom – seeing and describing the term from the perspective of a world leader governing the citizens of a powerful nation. Thus, from his point of view, freedom was described as the ability of people to undertake activities and endeavors without being hampered or restricted; and the people’s state or condition of being self-sufficient, as well as possessing the much sought of peace of mind from any perceived potential risk or danger.
Overall, one is convinced that freedom is a state or condition that each and every individual longs for and expects to avail. Freedom could therefore be described as the state that a citizen is accorded by virtue of birth. For nations where the form of government is authoritarian, dictatorship or communism, citizens could long for freedom to exert certain rights which are evidently impaired as a course of political underpinning. For nations that are democratic and have clearly promoted access to human rights, there still could exist some form of restraint in terms of micro-oriented perspectives: bullying in school, authority in the workplace, inequality in social structure, or merely the absence of resources to pursue personal or professional goals.
As such, freedom is crucial in every person’s life since it affects and influences future decisions and endeavors. Though the meaning of freedom could differ according to people’s points of view; it is also universal since all people, regardless of race, age, gender, and other demographic characteristics, regard it as paramount to enable the pursuit of endeavors that would perfectly fulfill the true essence of one’s purpose in life.
Oxford University Press. "Freedom." 2013. oxforddictionaries.com. http://oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/freedom. 14 September 2013.
Treder, Mike. "The Meaning of Freedom." 17 September 2009. Institute for Ethics & Emerging Technologies. http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/treder20090917. 14 September 2013.