Are We Ever Free?

We cry for freedom. Yet what is freedom? The freedom to make our own choices? Is that freedom?

When every decision we make , every step we take is haunted by the teachings hammered into our minds since childhood: when every choice is haunted by all that we were, are and will be: when every twist and turn of the mind is guided by the dictates of society and law and religion and a thousand other human beings- is that freedom? Have we been free – with no past holding our hand and no future weighing on our shoulders?

What is freedom? Is it knowledge? Is it knowing that we can do different, even though we never will? Is that freedom?

Is a soldier free when he obeys orders and fires his rifle, knowing that he can choose not to do it, even though he never will? Is an employee free when she is told that she must work late if she wants to keep her job, when she knows the children are hungry, the bills are piling up, and there is nowhere else to go? Is a son free to kick his father’s coffin to the ground? Is a woman free to walk naked in the streets? What is freedom when society looks on in judgement? What is freedom when we are bound to others from womb to tomb?

Have we ever, ever lived for the moment, unburdened, save perhaps for those first few magical weeks after birth, when we knew nothing of what the world wants us to be?

Are we truly free, any of us?