Freedom, by definition, is the power to act or freedom to change without restraint. Something being “free” is if it’s not restricted in its current state and can change as easily as the circumstances allow. In a sense, freedom is the foundation of all civilisations; a free society allows people to live their lives without fear of societal punishment.
So what do we mean by freedom? To most people, freedom means different things to different people. The dictionary might describe it as individual freedom, personal autonomy, personal or individual rights, individualism, or an absence of centralized rule. In popular use, freedom is often associated with political freedom, an abstract notion of freedom where people are allowed to think, speak, and behave as they choose.
In political terms, freedom is a value that gives citizens the right to participate in the political process, to protect their rights, and to seek a fair trial. In the political world, however, freedom has many different meaning. For many different types of government, freedom of speech and freedom of the press are essential rights. The right to bear arms also protects many different groups of people, even when they are not a part of a formal military.
When you ask what does freedom mean to you, consider what it means to you personally. Do you see freedom as an abstraction, something you only wish you had because you think it would improve your life? Or do you see freedom as the basis of all human potential, the belief that all men are created equal and that no one can be placed in a place of authority over another for any reason? If you believe strongly in both of these ideas, you may have a very particular definition of freedom.
To some, freedom might mean religious freedoms, the right to choose your own religion, freedom of speech and press, and protection from tyranny or oppression by the majority. To others, freedoms are essential parts of a just and peaceful society. These two minutes will look closely at each of these ideas so that you can develop your own unique opinion of what freedom means to you.
In the United States, freedom means freedom of choice and the ability to pursue happiness as you see fit. In the United Kingdom, freedom means the right to vote and freedom means the right to an education. In Canada, freedom means the right to privacy and freedom means the right to be left alone. Look closely at each of these definitions of freedom and consider what it means to you.