Why you should Stop Thinking “Freedom” and Start Thinking “Responsibility”

It has become a cultural norm in our society to yearn for freedom as though it had been stripped from us since birth, only for us to rant about not having it for the rest of our lives.

A virtue of sorts, which seems to have been stripped from us since birth — only for us to lament its absence for the rest of our lives. The very idea of the need for freedom requires some consideration; if you think about it, most of us aren’t crippled by metal chains begging to take a piss without ever coming into contact with a good-smelling dish (yeah I like to rhyme for kicks so deal with it). For the majority of us, our basic necessities have been met in one way or another: whether it is food, water or shelter, and sometimes our right hand when we get a little lonely.

Sure, there are occasions where our freedom of self-expression may be repressed — a certain circumstance may not allow us to quit our 9–5; we may just opt to get piss-drunk every night, our vomit hitting dirty pavement floors in an odoured display of regret. But let’s just say you were granted limitless freedom (’cause I somehow became God, duh) and you were now free to do anything you ever wanted — from starting up a multi-million dollar company, spearheading a successful charity organization or just bumming around in your boxers the whole day… you’d realise that there is one single thing subconsciously tying you down. Even with all that ‘freedom’, I can imagine that many of us would still prefer to occasionally change things up, never really being content of where we are. What more could be better than having reached absolute freedom?

This conundrum arises because many of our ideals of what freedom is, misses a key part of the equation to actually achieve it. To be free from our MIND.

The very fact that you entertain a seed of thought regarding freedom, would be because you’ve already imprisoned yourself in the belief that you are a victim of circumstance. By believing that you are a victim of everything that is happening around you, and that ‘freedom’, as our basic human right, has been compromised. This is the ‘destructive’ freedom our society advocates, where we keep asking for more, without wanting to be accountable. Now, let’s introduce a concept that may seem absolutely foreign in our discussion about freedom: RESPONSIBILITY.

Essentially, freedom encapsulates wanting to have control over everything — because having the freedom to do anything is the ability to have control over all happenings, in order to command the situation to bend in whichever direction you deem appropriate.

Being responsible, on the other hand, is to hold oneself accountable; and one cannot simply be accountable of a circumstance where one lacks control. You could probably tell where I am heading with this, and I don’t mean to be mistaken as becoming a control-freak.

What I have realized is that what we need is not freedom, but a shift in mind-state where we take it upon ourselves to take responsibility, for our every action and circumstance, whether we like it or not. We are not victims any longer, but as individuals who actively grasp the sails and carve into the winds the direction of our fate. There would be no need for self-pity, but instead, we could take our challenges by its ropes, and climb the waves which threaten our desired outcome. Exercising personal accountability lets us live in contentment with ourselves, and creates happiness in general. It is not an easy task, for even I am still is trying my best to put this into practice. So, the next time you start becoming the bitch you are and start wallowing in self-pity, think responsibility.

So the next time you start bitching around and start wallowing in self-pity, think responsibility.

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