Freedom of choice

Firstly, Happy Independence Day once again! I was told when I was little that India got her freedom today. From then, I grew up believing Independence and Freedom are the same. But apparently not! By the time I understood how distinctly different they are, I’d spent a life time confusing the two. Let me explain:-

Just because we have freedom doesn’t mean we’re independent.

Just because we’re independent doesn’t mean we have freedom.

It is possible to experience freedom without being independent. It is also possible to not depend on anybody and yet not feel free. Confusing? Now take a look at their definitions:-

  • Independence is the ability to be and do, without barriers / obstruction / constraint from others
  • Freedom is the ability to be and do, without barriers / obstruction / constraint from oneself

Got the drift? Now, you realize how most of us confuse the two words, thanks to our forefathers who told us on August 15th we got our freedom and that’s why it is called the Independence Day. India may be independent but is she really free? Do we really have a freedom of choice?

Every so often we stop ourselves from doing something even when we are independent because we’re scared of how it will be received by people who matter to us. Now, that is lack of freedom. The reason so many of us want structures, dependence on people etc is because we’re scared of freedom. With freedom comes great responsibility and a whole lot of self doubts. What if we make wrong choices? What if we fall?

The degree to which I am ready to take responsibility for my choice is the degree to which I am free. Happy Independence day once again! Enjoy your freedom…

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