Summary: To explain the true meaning of freedom mainly to the youth who want to be free without knowing what it really means
Prof Oommen George
Freedom is on everyone’s lips almost all the time but it is most often misunderstood and seldom practiced. Everyone wants to be free. The teenager who is being coerced to study by a parent says “Let me be free please”. The leader of the women’s liberation movement is preaching about freedom with respect to the other sex. They do not want to be tied down by any He- man. Even countries want to be free and they are paying a high price for the freedom o f the land. Bloodshed, martyrs, sacrifice, suffering and then the freedom comes. What happens after that? The generation that does not know the meaning and cost of freedom just throw it away.
The greatest gift that God has bestowed upon mankind is free-will. We are not created as Robots. God in his unfathomable love has given us the freedom to choose the path that we may take. It is an opportunity to become who we are---that is what freedom is.
Freedom does not mean that one can speak, hear, do, and see anything at any time as one may wish to. The freedom of speech does not imply that you can slander anybody anywhere. In the same manner freedom of vision does not permit one to see whatever may thrill the person. Authentic freedom is genuine freedom and it is the freedom to choose to become what you may without any external influence. It is a freedom with restrictions put in place. This is because unlimited freedom at ay time can only lead to chaos and anarchy.
It is true that the youth of the day crave for freedom yet they have sold their freedom in many ways. They have been made captives of so many evils of the consumerist society of the so called modern era. The primary area where they have thrown freedom to the winds is in the case of what they see in media especially the television. A present day child of sixteen has at the least witnessed twenty thousand acts of violence on the small screen since he was born and violence is nothing new to him. He has been witnessing so much violence that his first mode of action when he faces anything unpleasant from friend or foe is one of violence. It does not indent his conscience for it appears natural to him since the media presents it as a natural consequence.
The Sex cluttered movies with ill shod men and women dancing to the tunes of highly romantic songs permeate into the heart and soul of the young man or lady so much that in comparison what he or she learns from the textbooks at the university be it science or commerce does hold no charm nor colour. The mind has been captivated. The freedom has been sacrificed. His natural human instincts have now been replaced with animal instincts exhibited in the wild by unfortunate creation that does not understand what freedom stands for. Oh! The cost of ignorance. One look into our morning newspaper decries the state of such a society that knows no freedom.
The advent of the Internet has only made matters all the more worse. Young minds are trapped in pornography. It is deadlier than drug addiction. The hours spent in chatting and browsing under cover of anonymity ultimately destroys the person. It is leading to breaking up of personalities and of families. Is there a way out?
Another context in which freedom has been lost is in materialism. Gone are the days of valuing a person by his character. Today against all ethical concepts the value of a person appears to be in the value of the goods that he possesses. The young and the old are now captives of gold that sells in our markets. They who know no freedom crave for gold even in their dreams. The more they crave the less are they satisfied. They know no peace. Satisfaction does not come unless one has the best house in town or the most expensive car. The resulting euphoria has ransacked the foundations of the society. The neighbor is cheated, beaten or even killed in order to usurp his possessions. Crime is on the increase—all for the sake of idols of gold. The bible teaches that a mans life is not in the abundance of his riches . Luke 12:15
The guilty are afraid. The youth of the day are alive with all sorts of fear. There appears to be no future for them. The question ---what is the use of studying so much has been asked many a time. They are troubled about their future. Freedom has been enslaved by fear.
People all over the world pray. Even the terrorists who kill do it for the sake of their religion. Religiousness is on the increase. We need freedom from religion. These are not the words of an atheist. God requires only one thing of man and that is to live according to His rules and commandments. Nothing else pleases God except obedience. Hurting the body or giving money to charity is of no use unless supplemented by selfless love. God looks at your heart. Keep it clean. Check what you see. Check what you hear. Live your life by His word and you will know what freedom is. You cannot act free you can only experience freedom.