The Crisis Of Freedom
Today, we have become progressively liberated and in the midst of this progression we are carrying excess burdens. The constraints of the traditional ways of living in the past has slowly lost its grips upon our lives. In the olden days, people's choice and ways of doing things were strictly limited. The norms of the society then did not give room for much liberty. In this generation, the choices we make about our social life has increased . We have been given what I call compulsive permissiveness - that is you do your own thing.
Our ancestors had their own ways of doing things. Some behaviours were intolerable but now, many unacceptable ways of relating to others and doing things are now accepted by society. For example, having a baby on your own, being a single mother, making a choice on who to marry,freedom to choose your career etc. In some traditional societies in the past, the parents made the choice of partner, career and who to befriend for their children. There was shortage of personal freedom.
Our gift of freedom has brought increased number of interests, jobs and activities. We have more choices on fiscal issues. For example, should we spend our vacation in the diamond planet or the earth, should we have fish pie or cereal to eat. After making these choices, we still have to decide which type of fish or cereal to eat. What sort of milk and desert should we have? The problem is the more choices we make, the responsibilities become more burdensome.
In our contemporary age, we boast about the scientific discoveries of civilization. Knowledge has increased at a fast pace, which is very good because it has made a lot of things easy for us. The world is now called a global village where people can get access to information in a minute on what is happening in another country.
In the olden days, world news and events were very sporadic and slow but today we are aware of the world events so quickly to the extent that we must remember that we have some personal responsibility for events that occur thousand of miles away. Sometimes, it is better not to know what is happening but there is no way we can shut our ears to it because the world is with the discomfort that we should do something about what is going on. The onus is shifted on humanity that the only way the world can be delivered from destruction is through group interventions that demands our personal efforts.
This gift of freedom has not reduced our responsibility crisis, instead our liberty and submissiveness has magnified it. We are held responsible for our sex lives,eating habits, transportation, political and non-political views, jobs, parenting, morality and choice of friends. We are also held accountable for our inactions. The fact of the matter is too much of everything is not good.Too much freedom and choices is just entrapping because it gradually leads our mind and soul to bondage.
Our liberty has given us the ability to build ourselves in any way. We pursue a number of hobbies or lifestyles but the responsibilities inherent in these choices are crippling. We are known as the powerful society but the truth is we are powerless. Technology has actually given us greater freedom of choice and we delight so much in these human invention but it has led to repressed emotion.
Weight of burden
A burden is a duty, a heavy responsibility and a task that requires hard work. The problem with carrying a burden is that it causes worry and severe difficulty.Our personal freedom has given us power to control certain things. For example, we can control the temperatures in our homes but we become burdened or powerless when we are faced with an error in our electric bills or when our cars get stalled on the road.
In conclusion, the gift of freedom has given us choices that are staggering. Our responsibility has become overwhelming and our power to meet the demands are smaller. Freedom involves a range of alternatives that give us the capacity to choose. It entails the motives for choosing and the recognition that the consequences of our choices are unpredictable.