What is Freedom?

 

 

By Margaret Duarte

What is Freedom?

A subject that fuels my writing is the universal struggle for spiritual and emotional freedom.

While composing my “Enter the Between” fiction series, I often asked myself, “What is freedom?”

In the process, I’ve discovered that there are as many answers to this question as there are human circumstances in this world.

Viktor E. Frankl in his book, Man’s Search For Meaning, comes closest to answering my query in a satisfying way.

“Forces beyond your control,” he said, “can take away everything you possess except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the situation.”

Free will.

Self-determination.

The freedom to choose.

“Spiritual freedom, which cannot be taken away,” he adds, “makes life meaningful and purposeful.”

It is therefore not freedom from conditions that we seek, but freedom to take a stand toward conditions.

During the course of book one of my fiction series, Between Will and Surrender, my protagonist, Marjorie Veil, must decide if she will give in to or stand up to the forces that threaten to rob her of her very self—her spiritual and emotional freedom.

During the course of her journey, Marjorie breaks free of the obsessive protectiveness of those who claim to love her most, refusing to surrender her freedom for security.

“Those who surrender freedom for security,” Benjamin Franklin said, “will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

“If you want total security,” Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking…is freedom.”

No matter how many small liberties we must give up in life, as long as we have a choice to direct our own paths through life’s wilderness, to react to daily surprises in our own way, we are free.

Freedom, however, is only part of the story and half of the truth.

According to Viktor E. Frankl, freedom comes with responsibility. They are two sides of the same coin.

For what, to what, or to whom are we responsible once we stand up to the forces that threaten our freedom?

How will we exercise our capacity for choice?

 

MARGARET DUARTE

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