Special Features
October 26, 2007

Thoughts on freedom

Anesia O. Richards 26.OCT.07

As we celebrate 28 years of independence I wish to encourage our people to consider these thoughts on freedom. They were shared with me by a dear mentor and friend, and I commend them to you.

Whatever restrains us from being what we are supposed to be in God’s plan, whatever holds us back from fulfilling our God-ordained purpose-robs us of our freedom.{{more}} This means that freedom can be described as the fulfilling of individual purpose. Also, whatever hinders a citizen from living in civility with his fellowman, whatever obstructs him from showing respect for the rights and freedoms of his fellow citizens-this robs him of his social freedom. Freedom then is here described as the active pursuit of civil relations with humanity. Actions of civility to fellow citizens equal the exercise of social freedom. Actions within the framework of respect for the rights and freedoms of humanity are what constitute social freedom.

The Restraint Idea of Freedom

Freedom must never be described as license- that is free to do whatever one pleases, even to be lawless and out of control. It must never be described as loose, irresponsible actions within the norms of civil restraint. Rather, instead of the license idea of freedom, the restraint idea is the real character of freedom. You see, Freedom only exists in the realm of responsibility, which calls for a large measure of restraint and self-denial. Freedom is best described as actions that regard the rights and freedoms of others. Now, search your mind, examine your values and behaviors and answer this question: Are you really free? Then let us together examine our country and measure our freedom by the reality of our society. One thing is certain; our society needs to be educated about rights, freedoms, respect for these, tolerance, responsibility and all the other beautiful values which come from such knowledge, in order to address the problems of crime and violence which are plaguing our nation and threatening our independence/freedom. May God inspire our leaders’ hearts and motivate us to urgent action in this regard.