The Importance of Freedom


Freedom is the capacity to make choices. Yet no one can exercise freedom in a vacuum. Everyone faces constraints and restrictions, and how an individual responds to these influences determines how free they are. For example, if a government bans demonstrations, an individual is not free to participate in those demonstrations. And, a law against vandalism might not be just, but it is a law.

Freedom can be defined as the power of a sentient being to act according to their wishes. When we wish to achieve a goal, we bend our thoughts and efforts toward realizing that goal. This capacity is our freedom. A perfect expression of freedom would be experienced by a Buddha or supreme God. But, in real life, we face various barriers that impede freedom, including cultural and physical barriers.

One way to understand the importance of freedom is to consider its value in the context of the First Amendment. In the US, this freedom protects the right to speak, write, petition, and associate. Furthermore, it is a necessary condition for voting. Consequently, freedom is essential to a free society. If our society does not practice freedom, we are no longer free.

Freedom of speech is essential for an open society. In many societies, governments routinely jail people who speak their minds. As such, almost every country’s constitution references the value of free speech. However, in a free society, free speech is not just important for free speech, but also for freedom of association. This freedom is important because it protects the dignity of every individual and enables individuals to realize their full human potential.

Moreover, freedom must be protected from unjust discrimination. If freedom is not guaranteed, it is not possible to enjoy equality. This means that the state should guarantee its citizens the right to make choices. Whether they are men or women, everyone should be protected from any sort of discrimination. This is the fundamental principle of freedom.

In some countries, women’s rights are curtailed by state interests, such as commercial institutions and neighborhood safety. Racial prejudice and local neighborhood associations are other examples of state interests that may limit the rights of women and minorities. Similarly, discrimination of children and historically excluded groups limits the rights of such groups. In such a situation, freedom must be tempered by the interests of the state and the interests of citizens.