If you ask a poor, hungry person as to what is freedom as per him, he may probably say that he wants to eat as much as he wants with no restrictions on quantity of the food. He may even say that he wants to feed his family with no limitations, and to provide a better life.
If you ask a middle class person as to what is freedom as per him, he may probably say that he wants to be free to do anything in life, without having to compromise. Because you see, a middle class person’s struggle is not with food, maybe with money for a higher standard of life, but it remains mainly with the compromises and sacrifices done for the sake of responsibilities.
If you ask a rich person as to what is freedom as per him, he may probably say that he wants to be free from the limitations the world has to offer for his growth, or some more good men may say that their freedom lies with the world being free.
Freedom has different meanings from different perspectives. But the basic thing is one wants to do what he wants to do. Yet it’s not that simple. We have restricted its meaning for our benefits. True freedom is the one where a person does not have to worry about the results of his actions, true freedom is one where he neither roots for joy nor fears sorrow, where he is free from the fear of life’s events and death itself. He neither feels the need to work hard for success nor fears failure. Where he is free from truth and lie, and this goes on. The main reason we have restricted this meaning is because we want to maintain order in the society. We don’t want people to rob each other, kill each other, rape each other, racially harass each other, which are essentially evil. This would not be an issue in a world where every person knows what is right and wrong, where everyone knows respecting each other’s freedom is also essential and that should be the only shackle in that kind of world. But what history, evolution has taught us is that this kind of world is never possible. Even if one teeny tiny wrong deed does take place, it would make the entire achievement meaningless. The wrong doer would not even be held captive because in the process of building this kind world, we would have gotten rid of all restrictions such as law, police, and justice. Hence this kind of freedom should never be achieved.
Hence we want to restrict this free will, limit the meaning of such a beautiful thing. But is that an issue? I don’t think so. You see, our issues, our struggles are with living a good life. We constantly crave a higher standard of life. But when do we actually achieve it? Can we achieve it by leaving behind family and responsibilities? Can we achieve it by leaving behind a society? There is no system in place where the society allows you to thrive without any catch. There is always a catch. Family can either become strength of a person or can be a person’s downfall. Freedom cannot always mean monetary freedom, yet majority of the time wealth is the one which makes you free. Then, can we truly ever achieve freedom even though we claim to be living in such an advanced world? Hardly. We can never be free. But this is not a problem.
We can use the drive for freedom to move forward. Sure we would not achieve the ideal one, but we can come close to it. The drive to be free from monetary struggles makes you want to work hard for success. Sure, this may contradict with the ideal meaning of freedom as stated earlier. But we can never live like that can we? No. There is always profit and loss. There is always joy and sorrow. There is always success and failure. But the drive for freedom can be used to lean towards the positive aspects of life. Towards greater good.
The underlying thought is, do we want to run behind wealth or freedom? Running behind wealth never makes anything gained as sufficient. There is always more to gain. But then, will you be satisfied? Never. But once you feel you have achieved your meaning of freedom, you may step back, you may find that you have achieved something. Does running behind success ever satisfy you? Never. Because there is always more to succeed on. But once you find out that you have achieved your sense of freedom, you may feel satisfied.
Truth is, no one is truly happy in life until they feel satisfied. I think once we stop running behind material things which trick us into thinking that we are happy, and instead try to seek freedom, we may actually find something meaningful in our life.