Is there anything more paradoxical than freedom in and of itself?
free·dom /ˈfrēdəm/ the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
So I suppose many would say that freedom is predicated on the ability to choose. This point we can really see is exacerbated on social media today in issues such as mask/ no mask, socialism/ capitalism, and many other issues that may involve freedoms involving everything from social to religious and everything in between. Freedom, one way or the other, is essential to what it means to be human, seemingly an inherent piece of human existence. And if you view human existence the way I do, namely through a biblical lens, then the largest part of this existence is freedom in the sense of free will (apologies, but, i cannot help but think of these lyrics at this moment -You can choose a ready guide, In some celestial voice, If you choose not to decide, You still have made a choice). To expand upon this train of thought, I would add that one of the central characteristics of being a human created in God's image is the freedom to choose in the sense of morals or ethics and this is what separates us more than anything else from all else we know of in creation. Whew...this is already a lot to wrap my mind around...however, moving forward.
Does freedom really even truly exist? Is it just the ability to choose that really makes us free? And finally does what we choose have an effect on our freedom? These are some questions that are coming to my mind as I dive into this subject further and further... It seems to me that without freedom we cannot become 'wholey'(Holy) that for which we are ultimately purposed for or even simply put, to maximize our own individual potential. And on another hand, if we use our freedom to make the wrong choices it seems we can lead ourselves into bondages to which we may never be able to escape. For examples of this we need not look further than our own attachments and addictions to everything from social media, politics, alcohol, drugs and on and on to everything imaginable including dare I say sports since this is a wrestling website blog. Now, are all these things I mention and more in and of themselves necessarily bad in some way? The key here I would think is to look into the balance between freedom and bondage. In other words, are we so attached to what we choose to do with our God given time, talent and treasure that we become powerless over our own behavior hence falling into the addiction category. I will further add that when one becomes addicted to anything they begin to lose sight of all else other than themselves and when one loses clear sight of reality (which involves much more than just one's own self) then one's free will (freedom) begins to inevitably deteriorate. Sheesh...this paragraph may even be more confusing than the first on the subject of freedom...
In an attempt to conclude this blog, I will say, yes, freedom is quite the paradox. We cannot truly become who we are without it and we can quickly become who we are not with it. I will suggest at this point that we must focus on maintaining a balance in all that we do and never lose sight of the big picture of our very existence. For me, this existence not only means that which we may accomplish in what quickly becomes a short amount of time during this life that we know of but actually quite more that involves a more eternal existence. One example, is the impact that we have on all those that we may come into contact with during our life. I will urge all of us that no matter what our individual goals may be to never let these very goals hinder us from doing and ultimately being good to all others in truth and love. I read somewhere else that "freedom is not just about doing what we like to but rather doing what we ought to" and I whole heartedly agree with this. I will add that the most free humans that I have ever studied are the Saints or those that become 'Holy', and I believe that is because they truly live up to this quote with all of their being eventually in their lives. Let us strive to do the same and thereby achieve our own freedom.