What Is Freedom?
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Politics and Activism

What Is Freedom?

Don't just remember the freedoms you enjoy on July 4th. Remember them always.

What Is Freedom?


What do you think of when you hear it?

Do you see it as the right to do anything you want? To be without unpleasantness? To spend more time on activities you like?

What about liberty?

In this universe, Newton's Third Law applies to more than just physics: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction (paraphrased). In other words, if you want something to happen, something is going to push back. There will be a trade-off, it's just the nature of reality. Because of this, to have freedom and liberty, one must assume responsibility for the rights they have been given.

Part of accepting responsibility for anything entails a number of things: one, that one gains the necessary knowledge to work with it, and if appropriate and applicable, use it. Another is taking care of it, no matter what happens to it beyond one's control--it doesn't mean taking the blame for anything, it just means recovering. And lastly, defense: some things are in one's power to stop outside influences from tampering. That in mind, with freedom, we must understand that if we want others to respect parts of our freedom, we have to respect theirs, even if we don't like it. If you want the freedom to say what you believe, then it is only fair to allow others the same--especially if what they have to say is disturbing. Others might view your opinions as just that.

This last 4th of July, I was confronted by reports of people here in the United States of America who felt they had no reason to celebrate. They felt aspects of the government were geared against their demographic, that their lives were at risk from domestic sources, and that they weren't getting the respect they felt they deserved. It would be easy for me to tell these people to "suck it up," but I myself have similar thoughts and feelings, just not with the same cases they cited. But I celebrated the 4th anyway. Why? Was it because I had commitments to help others that day who were already celebrating? No. Then was it because it was habit? Certainly not, I barely celebrate many classic holidays as it is anymore, at least the way I used to. No, I celebrated because despite my very legitimate worries, I will give an open sign to any who do pose a threat to mine and others' freedom that I still believe in it. Sure, anyone can call me out as being "naive." I could ague their claims all day, but instead I will ask, what quality of life are you leading? Are you living so that you can enjoy anything aside from constant worry? I have already been there. How often do you question others' motives? Been there, too. Are you actually comfortable with where you sit mentally and emotionally, or are you internally begging for others to join you?

I intend no attack against anyone, these are honest questions. I have been there. And if someone wants to remain there, they are free to, and no tyrannical force can take even that away. But I would advise they do not take others with them.

For true liberty to remain, one must be willing to universally grant rights to others that they wish for themselves. That requires people to take responsibility for their actions. And both can get uncomfortable at times. There was a man a few thousand years ago who did both, and asked those around him to stand with him in this responsibility. That man was Captain Moroni in the Book of Mormon. Some may believe him to be a fictional character in a religious text, but regardless about how you feel about him, his story is worth a read, found in Chapters 43-62 of the Book of Alma. Not all chapters cover just him, but there are very worthwhile stories throughout. Right now, there is a producer who is trying to get these stories in movie form so that many more people can watch and understand the struggle for freedom when it is under heavy attack. If interested, here is the link to learn more:


Don't just remember the freedoms you enjoy on July 4th. Remember them always. And never forget that Freedom will always require upkeep against those who seek for power.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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