I believe in freedom
I believe that freedom is the ability to make decisions. When we are not allowed to make our own decisions, we are not free. Governments and religions serve to prevent people from having the ability to make their own decisions by inventing external objective man- made rules and laws. If you will, rather than pointing out to them that the only place answers are ever to be found is within, through personality.
I remember once when I was a young boy; I couldn’t go out in the compound after school for my parent safety. Even I could not talk to some neighbor friends. I had to stay in the house all the time instead of going out. Generally I had no freedom to make my choices, it was wrong. Now that I think about it, I am surprised came in to united state. Now I have my freedom. I am able to be a person and live a real life, my life. In addition, the dictator leaders of Ethiopia for the past 17 years did not allow any press media and civic association. Everything that a family had was the property of the government. We were not even allowed to practice our religious beliefs. It was very difficult to find a job that gave me wage high enough to take care of my family and to live life that way. I did not imagine a life like that for us. My father struggled and suffered all for our good. His only wish was for us to have a good life; for that reason I immigrated to America.
It is nothing new, what I am talking about. Its just that so few people ever feel comfortable discussing about freedom of choice, of speech, of feeling, of opinion. People do not like being told of how they are slaves, willing slaves, and how their lives are not free. My country People get very angry, upset, and often violent when you try to tell them these truths. They would much prefer to believe in an illusion of freedom, call it liberty or justice if must, those things only resemble freedom in that is what they want you to believe. But it’s up to you, each one of us, to decide for ourselves what to believe. I do not believe all the Ethiopian government lays anymore, I’ve come too far to turn around and just give up hope.
Freedom, as I see it, means that I get to decide for myself. Freedom, if it were real, would mean that nobody has higher authority over what decisions I make. Freedom would mean that nobody gets decide for me what I choose to do, or to think, or to believe is true. Freedom would mean that everyone, each individual person, deserves the same respect to make their own choices for themselves. I do believe in our ability to be free. Not only that, but I see it as an essential need, this human instinct to be free.
I speak only for myself, from my heart. I felled a very human heart. I believe in freedom. I believe it can really work; people can be free if they so choose to be. It is up to each individual person to make that decision; others cannot make it for them. This is my big problem with the world we live in today. Our decisions are all pre-made by those in control. We are not granted independence, but sometimes the illusion of a choice is offered us. That makes people feel a little better and helps them sleep at night. I feel this current situation is unacceptable! I don’t want the illusion of choices between options, which represent false distinctions and are really all the same.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.