Nobody Wants Freedom

“Freedom sounds nice, but very few people seem to want freedom.”

I got to hand it to you. That has got to be the best quote I’ve heard in a long time. It’s good because it’s true. No matter how much people talk about freedom for their personal rights, their thoughts and opinions, their beliefs and principles. Few in fact would wholly dedicate themselves in the pursuit of being free. Fewer still would actually understand the cost they would have to pay to achieve such freedom. Why?

Because human beings are creatures of convenience.

We fight for what we want to fight because we do not like the way things have become. In the very same breath, we defend the things we want to defend because we don’t want to part with them. Yet the price of freedom or at least the price of change in the pursuit of freedom is a high one. Most people forget that in changing the very way society or businesses operate based on that freedom, they have to sacrifice many luxuries that they have taken for granted.

Changes that reap the most benefit do not happen overnight. They do not happen a more than a handful of people disagree with the way things are going. They do not happen because thousands of people took to the streets. At best, all you can do is remove what’s holding you back, and then what? You’re free to do whatever you want? How then will things be run? How will legislations be imposed? How will software developers earn their keep?

Don’t get me wrong. I want nothing better than to see myself holding the person I love in public without the scrutiny of people and the fear that some religious legislation might descend like a pack of rabid badgers on me because I’m not married. I want nothing better to see money being put to educating future generations instead of blowing it on endeavours that make no long term sense at all.

I want that kind of freedom, but I also know that to win it, it’s more than just a matter of talking about it. It’s more than just a matter of showing your support by turning up at some protest rally on a Saturday afternoon. It’s about doing the best in what you can do in order to preserve the principles in which you believe in. For me, that has to be the science in which I have devoted myself to and the practical knowledge that comes with it. With it comes the foundation that in which every fibre of freedom comes from. Freedom and understand that I would gladly protect and I have even after all these years of scrutiny and sacrifice.

For others, it’s hard to say how freedom fits into what they do best. If their idea of freedom is talking about how bad things are over coffee or on the net and joining up because other people are too for purposes that have no long term impact, then I can say that people don’t want freedom. People want change. People want something different because the idea of having things fresh is always good.

If people realized that freedom itself would hinder their ability to get the changes they want, would people be so hard pressed to work for it? To fight for what you believe in only to realize that other people fight for the same things that oppose what you believe? What then? Would you still want it?

Truthfully when you look at the big picture. Society at large doesn’t care. It doesn’t want change. It doesn’t want to work hard for something that leaves an uncertain future, even if they can’t see it. Society just wants to be left in peace. It wants to to be left alone to their own devices so that they can carry out their lives the way they have made themselves comfortable with. The hard truth every activist has to face is that society never really wanted freedom. They just want their commercialized coffee and the ability to get on with their lives.

I can live with it because I’m still fighting for freedom as part of my life. What I want to know is, could you live your life now without trying to bother fighting for freedom the best way you know how? Could you live your life now without even caring about it? You’d be surprise just how much you won’t bother in order to live your life the only way you know how.

5 thoughts on “Nobody Wants Freedom

  1. What you write is certainly eye-opening. Reading all of it made me realise that it would seem that I do not want that kind of freedom. No wait, I do want it. But I don’t want it enough to go all out to fight for it.

    Selfish? Yep, I am. I’m not proud to say it, but I am. I am too selfish to sacrifice the lives of my loved ones, and mine, to pursue that kind of freedom I know my country ultimately cannot give me. It’s very easy for everyone to complain about how bad the situation is over a cuppa, but at the end of the day, it’s all just talk because no one would seriously bother. Talk, talk and more talk, but no action.

    I’m still fighting the freedom I want from the bondage I’m in in my life. Maybe when that’s over, I’ll fight for that kind of freedom.

    Like you said, I’m living the way I only know how.

  2. Which is why I don’t complain and I rarely right anything to do with politics. As long as some lines aren’t crossed. Everything works. Until that comes comes for those of us to act, we can live our lives without the need to fight the way people assume freedom should be fought.

  3. I think you’re saying freedom means society change. I’ve got to admit I’m a beneficiary of change in the US over the years. I can vote (I’m a woman), own property, attend a religious institution of my choice, have a union to protect my salary comparable to a man, went to university as an educated female etc. Are there still areas our society needs to adapt and change to reflect more freedom? Yes. Is the society equal and just? No. I don’t think it will grow if people choice emotional and political isolation.

  4. In a way, yes. I’m talking about what lengths we will go in order to protect our own freedom to choose. For the most part, we don’t. Even if the effect is much more obvious in developing countries, this is subtly reflected in countries that do practice democracy. If you know there are areas that need changing, how far would you go to see it changed? Would you in the first place? Or are you content where you are, knowing that to instigate such changes would mean disrupting the lifestyle you’ve grown comfortable with?

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