The dream – then, again and still, me walking the damned halls of damned Colonel White High School. Snap, I realized I was no longer IN high school and had NO reason whatsoever to be there. So I flew out the window and soared around until I woke up. It was a quality of freedom scarcely obtainable in the real world.
If demagogues speak of freedom, it is because the word has gravity, a pull . (Of course, those who trumpet about freedom are not necessarily talking about freedom.) The concept of freedom has an appeal to human beings that has moved some to believe it stems from ?god. That is a strong indication of its importance to people.
Freedom: a principle that facilitates human function: to hope, to plan, to move, to design, to release passion, to change, to create possibility, to invent, to play, to build, to be, to will1…. Speaking as a person, I say that freedom is profoundly important to people. Freedom is the water that passion swims in. It is complicated.
Freedom is situational, and in many damn situations there are a metric arseload of reasons against it: legal reasons, economic reasons, personal, social, reasons of custom, reasons based on the boundaries of other peoples’ freedom, good reasons, shitty reasons, safety, reasons of material reality…
Issues of freedom – and the host of reasons against it – are often complex and problematic, and rarely can we just fly out the window. Reasons against freedom do not belie its central importance, as a principle vital to our human being.2 May our human negotiations and choosings be intelligent and kind, with an awareness of freedom as a basic principle in shaping human choice.
Respecting people, may we respect freedom.
1 There has been some confusion in the discussion about free will. I want to be clear – I am speaking of “free will”, the human function, not “free will” the theological-or-anything-like-it thing. See http://chasens.ca/blog/2019/08/12/free-will/
2 .. I say, speaking as a person.