Throughout history, a plethora of battles have been fought in hopes of gaining one thing, – liberty. Whether it was the French Revolution or America’s Civil War, the goal of the oppressed was to gain freedom. These individuals sacrificed their time, money, and lives for a cause that they truly believed in. Even though these individuals were all working towards the possession of liberty, the liberty they were all vying for meant something different to each of them. The circumstances in every human’s life affects their goals and shifts their perception of what something represents.
For me, liberty is the absence of physical or mental subjugation and the ability to be oneself. First, liberty is when you are able to think and act on what you believe. Every individual is in possession of his or her own beliefs. Everything I have been taught and every person I have come into contact with has molded me into the person I am today. This means that everyone is unique and has their own set of ideas that they are typically eager to share with the world. When my friends and I are discussing our favorite TV shows, I like to bring ‘The Office’ into the conversation. I always make sure to give my opinion about how ‘Parks and Recreation’ is simply not as good and, although my friends do not agree, they are tolerant of my opinions. The only reason why I am able to state this opinion time and time again is that I have the liberty to do so. In a world where individuals are not allowed to discuss shows, I would not be able to state my opinions regarding ‘The Office’. In this fashion, liberty allows individuals to express their thoughts and show others what kind of person they really are. The alternative is only having the option to discuss what a higher power authorizes.
In addition, liberty goes beyond the freedom of thought and extends into having the ability to be creative. Humans are visionaries who continually work to create new ways of doing things. We are encouraged to think and take inspiration from all around in order to complete tasks at school. In art classes, students are typically let loose and are able to let their mind wander until inspiration hits. This makes for an innovative and clever society who are able to overcome obstacles and push their personal limits. It is important to be creative because things can always be improved or altered. However, there are numerous communities in the world who are told that creativity is bad and that the traditional ways are the best, and only, ways. These limitations not only hinder the community itself from growing, but they also deter the individuals’ growth and mold them into clay pots. These individuals become a replication of what their governance wants them to be and leaves the people hollow with no sense of imagination.
Also, liberty means having the option to choose. There are numerous times in a person’s life where they will need to make an important decision. Early in our lives, we are supposed to make a decision on where we want to attend college or what occupation we want to pursue. As humans, we naturally pick the option that best suits our interests and brings joy. Because of the circumstances, I have grown up in, I am gifted with liberty in the sense that I can choose where to go, what to do, and how to live out my life. However, not everyone is as fortunate. Many individuals are stripped of their ability to choose their life’s path and are thrown onto a bumpy and winding road. These individuals are forced to partake in intense labor until the day they die or are shipped thousands of miles away from their friends and family to live a life they have no choice in. Individuals without liberty are individuals who are deprived of their independence and livelihood.
As can be seen, liberty means that an individual is not subject to limitations in regards to their beliefs and is able to be their own self. I believe liberty is the ability to act on what you believe, use your creativity, and choose the course of your life. Liberty is a universal thing that appears different in the eyes of each individual who sees it.