I was in Lagos early this year and I resided with my cousin. He is one of the people I have more insightful conversations with. We were having one of our discussions recently when I inquired about his perception towards the meaning of the term “Freedom”. He was initially excited about it but then he couldn’t answer the question.
Everyone has their notions and opinions about what the term means. I will like to share mine. “Freedom is a condition where you have options to make a decision in a situation with understandable consequences for every option”. I was talking with some of the 2017 graduands of Sharon Rose Schools and College. I asked them how they were feeling about leaving secondary school. As expected, all of them mentioned the case of having more freedom. My reply was thus: “Freedom is good. What you have to understand though is that when you have this freedom, you are in more danger than ever before. In secondary school, you are forced to listen in class and like it or not, you gained some things through that “force”. In tertiary institutions (exceptions of Covenant University, that’s a higher secondary school), you are not forced to do almost anything. You are instead, given responsibilities to fulfill in order to graduate from the institution.”
There is a general misconception about freedom being a state where you get to do whatever you want, whenever you want. It’s not totally wrong, it’s just incomplete. There are more dangers attached to freedom than benefits. How? In an exam, you have freedom to pick options in an objective. Out of four options, only one option adds mark, three takes it away. The thought of being free does not seem like a realistic situation to me and this brought me to an understandable conclusion. I asked myself, “Are we ever free? No, we are forever enslaved to the consequences of our choices”.
As we know, every day we make several decisions and that’s what makes or mar our day as individuals. We are subjected to the consequence(s) of making a choice. When we wake up, we have a choice to have our bath or not. Have your bath and you are guaranteed a day of fresh scent and comfort (the consequence of taking your bath). On the other hand, if you don’t have your bath, you are looking at a day of offensive odor and a day rid of comfort (the consequence of not taking your bath).
Correcting this incomplete notion about freedom is not difficult though. Here are a few ways on how to reshape your view:
i. Be conscious of critical decisions:
Make sure you are sure about making critical decisions. Evaluate the full effect of this decisions before you make them. You could spend 5 minutes to make a decision and pay for it with 5 years. Be careful.
ii. Be clear about your values:
You won’t have time to make a number of decisions. Harboring and practicing the right values help you to make decisions in these kind of times. For more on this, you can check out (5 ways to better yourself in 2018)
iii. Always remind yourself that you are responsible for whatever happens.
Freedom does not exist. You only get responsible for more choices overtime, don’t get carried away.