Today’s thoughts are about freedom in 2020. A small initiative I have chosen to add to the site is Thoughts. It’s a mental dump. It’s reflection. To understand the topics and issues that my little head constantly raises.
What is freedom?
In my quiet mind, I’ve long pondered what modern freedom truly means. I had to confront these ideas for the first time in early 2020. I had to do something I didn’t want to do when I was suddenly asked or ordered to.
I was sent home. I was made to fear. And I was asked to lug a bandage. The “then” lethal virus that shut down the world.
This infringed on my personal freedom and I had to spend weeks explaining why and how things happened.
The way I felt during this time period says a lot about me. It also says something about perspective and freedom.
In addition to human rights and criminal law, there is something called personal freedom.
Perspective is personal Freedom
It suddenly occurred to me that what I consider freedom (my personal freedom) has been eroding for several years. My freedom to think, reflect, and express me. Most importantly, my freedom to express myself has been weakened.
To understand where I am in my own personal freedom, I had to first dive into the world of philosophy. I wanted to know what true freedom is.
But what do I fear for my personal freedom?
To avoid sounding like a scrub crazy conspiracy theorist, I will list some of the threats to our personal freedom in 2020.
Many of us have felt safe with our phones for years. We have enjoyed the user-friendly features such as always knowing where we are, instant digital knowledge, etc.
Sadly, few (including myself) read the terms and conditions before using these otherwise useful apps and features. That’s why many of us haven’t considered how many people have access to our data. So it doesn’t bother me because what should the data be used for? It tells a lot about one’s behaviour and can be abused in many ways. The idea that people can get so close to one without even realizing it makes me uneasy. To me, that means everyone can look through my wallet and find my information.
Me and Freedom with No Social Media
I’m not talking about what social media stands for, but rather how they encourage us to look alike, eat alike, go to the same places, shop alike, and be “just as good” as everyone else. I’m sick of seeing cardamom spinners, organic green juice, and rainbow diamond earrings in a mirror with a wide white plastic edge. It’s boring, but for some reason people admire it. Fear of deviating from the unwritten collective consensus. Copies are unhealthy. We lose creativity, independence, and reflection. And I see that as a threat to personal freedom.
“A free man is an authentic man,” he wisely stated. That’s also my point.
Freedom and correctness, If social media hasn’t made you conform to the norm, this point may be the most concerning. Because we all want to be “right and good,” those who disagree with us are labeled “evil” or “wrong.” This means they should keep quiet while speaking positively. It’s okay to be ashamed of those who disagree.
For some, this means the person with the different attitudes must be ashamed or worse, completely silent. So why is this a crime? It does so because I believe that opposites attract us as humans. When issues arise. When expressing views. When differences converge. It does so because I believe in questioning things, whether they are political reforms, new rules, or values.
I think it’s a shame we can’t eat fish-shaped sweets or yell at our kids when they do wrong. I’m sorry some people avoid people they disagree with. Why can’t we accept each other’s differences?
How do we get free?
Acceptance is the first step, in my opinion. Whether we agree or not. But that doesn’t mean we can’t question each other’s views, attitudes, and feelings. HUMANITY NEEDS EACH OTHER! So let’s inspire each other! Not by scrolling Instagram or Tiktok all day. We must disagree but also try to understand. We must question and debate. Otherwise, you risk losing your freedom. That was this week’s thinking. I hope it got you thinking. How do you see freedom in 2020?