I love TED Talks. With an undying passion. If there is a new TED Talks up, I will watch it. I love to learn, I love to see what new ideas there are, and I love to be challenged as an individual.
I have recently watched a TED talks where the man speaking challenged the audience to define your own personal freedom. He basically stated that if I didn’t define my own freedom, it would be defined for me.
Before I start, I realize I am a twenty-somthing white girl from Canada, with loving parents, an education, friends, and I haven’t known a truly hungry day in my entire life. Remember, we are not talking about world freedoms, we’re talking about your own personal definition of freedom. What freedom means to me, as a person.
Now, with that aside, this is what freedom means to me.
Freedom for me is not being tied down to any one place, job or lifestyle because of debt.
I made a vow to myself, after watching countless other loved ones go through the horrors of debt and bankruptcy, that I wouldn’t allow myself to go into debt myself. If I wanted something, I would work for it. If I know I can’t afford something, I refuse to go to the bank to get a loan. (That being said, a house and mortgage is a different matter). I will always live within my means, and purchase only what I can afford to at the time.
Freedom for me is being able to travel freely from place to place, without hinderance.
This is actually in the Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the United Nations, that each individual person has the right to travel within one’s own country, and outside of it with legal documentation. That being said, you can have that right taken away from you by your government or the government of any other country – simply by them taking away your passport. How does this happen? By breaking the law. By being told you’re not allowed to leave the country, and boarder control has the right to not let you into the country based on your personal record. I have always refused to let this happen to myself, and in some ways, I think, this is the main reason why I am a law abiding citizen in every country I visit, including back home in Canada.
Freedom for me is being able to walk away from any one person or situation at will.
I do not want to be financially dependent on anyone, I want to be able to take care of myself and be self reliant. I want to have the confidence and the skills to be able to leave a situation or person that makes me unsafe, uncomfortable, or unhealthy. This is still something that I’m working on – this is purely a mental process.
Freedom for me is being able to express myself through words (written or spoken) without the fear of being judged by those I love and respect.
I talk. A lot. Ask anyone. And I have a lot of opinions about the world around us. I am very open to have debates on almost every issue that exists (my step-father and I do it all the time, I’ve learned a lot from it) and I will be the first person to admit when I am wrong. I am not above changing my views and opinions. But I do not want to live in a world where I am worried about a loved one passing judgement on my view points without so much as a conversation about why I feel the way that I do. My friends and family should love me, for me, even if they disagree with something I have to say.
Freedom for me is being able to choose.
I have no interest in having my life dictated for me, or of any person trying to tell me how to live my life. I refuse to conform to what is deemed an acceptable lifestyle, simply because people say so. I will choose the way I live – right down to the foods I eat, how much alcohol I drink, the clothes I wear, the religion I practice, the place I travel to. My life, my decisions.
What does your own personal freedom look like? Is it similar to mine or completely different? How do you plan on achieving that freedom for yourself? Let me know in the comments below!